Basic Dysrhythmia Interpretation Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

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West Campus Allied Health 105

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RSPT-1137-001 Basic Dysrhythmia Interpretation


Course Description

A study of the electrophysiology of the heart and characteristic cardiac dysrhythmias.

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(1 sem hr; 1 lec)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Wilkins, Clinical Assessment in Respiratory Care, 8th ed.


  1. Class Notes
  2. Laptop computer with Internet/WiFi capability for in-class online testing

Student Performance

End-of -Course Outcomes:  Explain the electrophysiology of the heart and discuss the characteristics of common cardiac dysrhythmias.

1.     Identify anatomic structures of the heart.
2.     Discuss the clinical value of the ECG.
3.     Identify the clinical findings that indicate the need for an ECG recording.
4.     Identify the key components of the heart’s electrical conduction system and the role of each component.
5.     Recognize definitions of depolarization and repolarization.
6.     Identify the specific electrical activity of the heart associated with each wave and interval of the normal ECG.
7.     Identify normal values for the PR interval and the QRS complex.
8.     Given a 12-lead ECG recording, identify the ventricular rate and position of the mean QRS vector.
9.     List the steps for ECG interpretation.
10.   Identify the criteria for each of the following abnormalities:

  • Sinus bradycardia
  • Sinus tachycardia
  • Sinus arrhythmis
  • Premature atrial contraction
  • Atrial flutter
  • atrial fibrillation
  • Premature ventricular contraction
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • Asystole
  • First-, second-, third deree heart block
  • Junctional rhythm
  • Bundle branch blocks
  • Pulseless Electrical Activity
  • Agonal rhythm

11.   Identify the ECG abnormalities associated with chronic lung disease.
12.   Discuss the identification of ischemia, injury, and infarction using the 12-lead ECG tracing.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

  1. The student should read assignments prior to class and be prepared to discuss topics covered in class.  Students will be called on to share their understanding of topics.
  2. Assigned homework is to be completed before class.  Homework cannot be completed in class unless the instructor gives permission.
  3. Exams and daily quizzes will be handed out at the beginning of class.  In the case of major exams, students may begin the exam when they arrive, but  will have the same turn-in deadline as everyone else in the class.  In the case of quizzes, if the student arrives late, he/she will not be allowed to take the quiz and will receive a grade of 0.  Please note that for major exams the student will need to bring their own mobile device.
  4. CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF OR BE IN VIBRATE ONLY MODE DURING CLASS AND EXAMS.  If a cell phone rings during a major exam, a 10% score deduction will be implemented when the exam is graded.
  5. Calculators may be used during class and exams. The instructor will provide the calculators.
  6. Disruptive behavior may lead to the student being asked to leave the classroom.  If his happens, the student will not be allowed to return until after a counseling session with the Program Director. Disruptive behavior may consist of, but not be limited to: private conversations, unauthorized mobile phone usage, sleeping in class, and rude or disrespective behavior towards the instructor or other students.
  7. Cheating on exams or copying the work of others on assignments will result in a grade of 0 for the exam or assignment and will severely jeopardize successful completion of this course (see AC RC Student Handbook).

Grading Criteria

  1. Announced and unannounced quizzes
  2. Weekly Assignments
  3. Four (4) section exams
  4. Comprehensive final exam

There will be no exemptions from section or final exams and the student will not be permitted to keep exams after class exam review.

Make-up policy: Exams must be taken AND homework assigments turned in within 1 week and the maximum grade that can be earned is 75%.  There will be no make-up offered for the final exam or for quizzes.

  1. Each examination and assignment will have a specific value of points awarded for correct answers.  There will be no extra credit offered in this course and any bonus points earned or curve given may not increase the grade for that item above 100%.
  2. At least 10% of the questions on major exams will come from the reading assignments
  3. At the end of the course, all possible points from examinations and other assignments will be totaled.  This will be the maximum possible points to be earned by a student.
  4. On major exams, the highest point total achieved will be curved to an A and that number of points added to all students results. However, the maximum number of added points will not exceed 10% of the exam point total, providing the possibility that an A will not be achieved.
  5. Rounding of score will take place as follows:  0.5 will round up to the next highest whole number, ex. 74.5 = 75.0.  74.4 will NOT round up.
  6. The number of points earned by a student will be divided by the maximum possible points for the course.  The result will be expressed as a percent and converted to a final grade.  The final course grades will not be curved.
  7. Categories of class work will be weighted in the determination of the final course grade:

    Exams - 60%
    Quizzes/Assignments - 40%

  8. The normal grading scale for this course is:
  • A = 90-100
  • B = 80-89
  • C = 75-79
  • F = less than 70

Student can access their current grade on-line at any time.

Testing Procedure

During the testing period, the student may take a break, however, no additional time will be allowed for the test.  Only one student at a time may leave the testing room.  After completion of a major exam, the student will not be allowed to wait for the next class in the laboratory or hallway.  The student must either sit quietly in their seat until all students are finished or exit the building.

Remediation Policy

The instructor will meet with students who do not pass exams.  Both parties will develop a plan to gain better understanding of the information covered on the test.  The plan may include but not be limited to:

  1. research of exam topics
  2. written discussion of topics
  3. oral discussion of topics
  4. mandatory tutoring at the AC Success Center and/or with the SSS Program tutor

Mandatory remediation sessions exams will be a group event at a date/time set by the instructor. Failure to arrive on time and complete the remediation at the set date/time will result in negative (-10) points for that exam.


Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to attend class.  In the event of an unavoidable absence, it is the responsibility of the student to obtain missed lecture notes and arrange for make-up exams.

Each student with a tardy/attendance problem will be addressed on an individual basis with the instructor.

In the event of virtual classes or quarantining due to Covid-19, all rules of attendance will apply. It will be counted as an absence if the student does not log on, does not activate the camera and/or is not dressed and sitting at a desk/table. If the student logs on after the class has started, the student is "late". Proof of illness due to Covid-19 may be required.


Date Lesson/Lecture
Week 1 Syllabus, ECG Basics, Cardiac Anatomy
Week 2 Electrical System, Causes of Dysrhythmias
Week 3 Basic ECG Waves
Week 4 Exam 1
Week 5 ECG Leads
Week 6 ECG Axis
Week 7 Axis Deviation
Week 8 Exam 2
Week 9 Step to Interpretation
Week 10 Sinus Dysrhythmias
Week 11 Atrial Dysrhythmias, Heart Blocks
Week 12 Exam 3
Week 13 Junctional Rhythms, Bundle Branch Blocks
Week 14 Ventricular Dysrhythmias
Week 15 PEA, Agonal Rhythm, Asystole
Final Week Final Exam

Additional Information

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Syllabus Created on:

08/02/21 10:12 AM

Last Edited on:

08/23/21 10:46 AM