Online course

ECG Assessment: an Introduction for Healthcare Providers

Understand the principles of electrocardiography and learn a step-by-step approach to the ECG test, with this free online course.

ECG Assessment: an Introduction for Healthcare Providers

Why join the course?

The electrocardiograph (also known as electrocardiogram) or ECG is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure, commonly used to assess people with known or suspected heart disease, in a variety of healthcare settings.

Competent recording, reading and interpretation is vital to ensure safe and effective care, yet ECGs are commonly undertaken by unqualified and junior staff, who have received little training.

Gain an introduction to ECG assessment and interpretation

This free online course will equip you with an introductory understanding of ECG assessment and interpretation, which will support the further hands-on training that is needed to competently perform the ECG test in clinical practice.

Over two weeks, you will be guided through a step-by-step approach to undertaking the procedure, including ECG lead placement, and how to deal with common challenges you may face in obtaining a high quality ECG reading. You will also explore the principles of electrophysiology, and how to recognise a normal heart rhythm, as well as signs of arrhythmia.

You will learn through demonstrations and interactive animations, and be able to check your knowledge and deepen your understanding through a variety of quizzes and peer discussion.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • What are ECGs and why are they useful?
  • How to record an ECG
  • Troubleshooting and challenges in obtaining a high quality ECG
  • Recognising normal sinus rhythm
  • Introduction to arrhythmias

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the heart’s normal electrical activity and the meaning of the term ‘sinus rhythm’
  • Describe an ECG and what it measures
  • Discuss the reasons for recording an ECG
  • Identify the steps involved in recording a standard 12 lead ECG, including electrode placement and the pre and post-procedure considerations
  • Identify problems in obtaining a good quality ECG and suggest solutions to these
  • Explain the relationship between the heart’s electrical activity and ECG waveforms
  • Summarise the parameters for normal sinus rhythm
  • Describe some key features of arrhythmias and their potential impact

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for a range of existing healthcare providers, including qualified and student nurses, paramedics and support workers.

Who will you learn with?

Jo Gregory

I am an Associate Professor for Undergraduate Workforce Development and also a Registered Nurse with extensive experience of teaching cardiac care to Healthcare Providers from a range of backgrounds.

Who developed the course?

St George’s is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research.

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education is a joint enterprise of Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.


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Join this course


  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime