Book Review: Cardiac Dysrhythmia Interpretation Workbook by Rob Theriault

The eight edition of former EMS Educast cohost Rob Theriault’s self published Cardiac Dysrhythmia Interpretation Workbook is out, which I believe is the biggest EMS-book bargain out right now.

The book begins with an explanation of cardiac A&P and electrophysiology, along with diagrams and metaphors for explanation. For example, Theriault describes conduction as like pebbles in a pond. After a step-by-step approach to interpreting rhythms, there are several practice strips with answers at the end. I was left with a better understanding of several  concepts after reading the book, even with twelve years of experience interpreting ECG’s.

The best part of the book are the QR codes that link to YouTube videos of Theriault explaining each lesson. The tutorials that accompany this book and his 12-15 lead ECG Interpretation book (which can be viewed without purchasing the book), makes learning ECG’s like playing a video game.

Here is how I have used his workbooks to create teachable moments with my paramedic class. I am lucky to teach at a school where faculty join students on their emergency department clinical rotations. When there are no patients to assess, we spend a lot of time hanging out at the telemetry station. A common mistake for students is to interpret all rhythms with wide QRS complexes as originating in the ventricles. I have the Kindle version of Theriault’s book on my iPad. When that happens, I pull up strip #23, and have one of my students scan the QR code with a mobile device. You can scan it from the screen:20160124_213020

We then watch, and often re-watch, Rob walk through interpreting of the rhythm and explaining bundle branch blocks.

Theriault’s workbook is 110 pages. I think his book is a great supplement, but does not replace longer paramedic must-own dysrhythmia books, such as Dubin’s and Walraven’s (which he references). None of the other books have the free online content so readily available, and Theriault’s book is a fraction of the price.  The Kindle version of the is $5.99, and the paperback version is $12.99, and is available on other electronic platforms. Rob Theriault’s Cardiac Dysrhythmia Interpretation Workbook is well worth the investment an I highly recommend it.

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