Important Tips for Patients to Know About Holter Monitoring Tests
It’s important to be prepared for your Holter monitoring test, as any recording issues may incur additional charges for having to repeat the test. Holter monitors are typically prescribed for 24-72 hour windows and must be handled properly the entire time they are active. That’s why there are several things patients should know about Holter monitoring tests before undergoing one. Here are some important tips to remember if you are looking into Holter monitor tests.
How Should I Prepare?
Since Holter monitors cannot get wet, you will not be able to bathe during the test period. This is why you should shower before your Holter monitor is set up. Also be sure not to wear any skin lotion or perfume before a Holter monitoring test, as they can cause interference with test equipment and impact the validity of results. Women preparing to set up a Holter monitor on their person should wear a comfortable bra and shirt or blouse with buttons so that the device fits snugly and can be easily accessed.
How Do I Set it Up?
Most doctors will set up the Holter monitor for you at their office, however, some patients are mailed a monitoring kit that they have to configure themselves at home. Although the device may look complicated, placing a monitor on your person is a fast and relatively easy process. Let’s take it step by step…
- Make sure the battery of your Holter monitor is fully charged (Keep in mind that some monitors are not rechargeable and may require fresh batteries)
- Prepare the skin on your chest by shaving any hair and cleaning the areas where electrodes will be placed with an alcohol swab
- Attach electrode sensors to your skin as directed, which usually consists of placing three pads on your chest and one near the bottom of your rib cage (Note that some monitors will require spreading around a gel first, while others have self-stick pads)
- Ensure that the cable connected to the sensors is plugged into the monitor
- Follow instructions provided by your doctor to activate the device
What Should I do Differently?
It is important to perform all of your normal daily activities while wearing a Holter monitor so that it accurately records your heart rate during your usual routine. You should, however, keep a detailed record of your activities and symptoms in a journal. This information can help your doctor diagnose what is causing your abnormal heart rhythms. There are also several things that can cause interference. When wearing a Holter monitor, be careful to avoid:
- Any activities that could get your Holter monitor wet
- Metal detectors (if you have to, walk through the detector at a normal pace)
- High-voltage electricity
- Powerful magnets
- Electric blankets, toothbrushes, and razors
- Cell phones and MP3 players (keep at least 6 inches away from your chest)
Physicians Ancillary Systems Holter Monitoring
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