Telemetry is a cardiac monitoring unit and is sometimes referred to as a "step-down" unit from the intensive care unit (ICU).
Patients may be on St. John's telemetry unit for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Chest pain
- Congestive heart failure
- Abnormal heart beat (cardiac dysrhythmia)
- After a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
Telemetry patients wear small transmitters that send information about the electrical activity of their hearts to the nurse's station for monitoring. This allows the unit's skilled staff to observe patients' hearts as they go about daily activities in the hospital. Unlike in the ICU, heart transmitters used in telemetry are cordless and patients are able to move around freely.
Following a stay in telemetry, many patients go through outpatient heart rehabilitation.