CTE Task:5-Lead EKG Electrode Placement

Click here to download the teacher resource for this task.


Health Science and Diagnostic Medicine


One Hour


Task Description


The students will:

  • read through the linked patient education material from University Health Network and complete the guided reading sheet,
  • watch the linked YouTube video and complete the guide,
  • create an artifact of accurate 5-Lead EKG electrode placement and take a photo, and
  • transmit both guides and the photo to the teacher.


Health Science, Std. 21) Understand principles of and successfully perform skills related to the ECG Technician incorporating rubrics from textbooks or clinical standards of practice for the following: a. Assess O2 level using a pulse oximeter b. Simulate accurate placement of electrodes for a 5-lead ECG on a chart or on a CPR manikin.


Diagnostic Medicine, Std. 26) Investigate cardiac diagnostic procedures both in-hospital and out-patient and identify the equipment required for these services.


 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Describe the purpose of the telemetry unit/heart monitor
  2. Discuss conditions that indicate the need for a telemetry/heart monitor
  3. Explain and demonstrate the placement of the leads for a 5-Lead EKG


To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  1. Unpack a PQRST complex and determine the heart activity related to each wave and segment.
  2. Discover various types of heart disease and the associated heart rhythms for each.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions





  1. The health care worker placed a sticky pad, or ________ on the patient’s skin to prepare for monitoring the heart rhythm.
  2. The patient was admitted to the ______ unit where patients can walk around while having their EKGs recorded.
  1. What is meant by heart rhythm?
  2. How is a heart rhythm displayed on a heart monitor?
  3. What is another type of EKG measurement besides a 5-Lead?
  4. When is a 5-Lead EKG used vs. a 12-Lead EKG?

Additional Resources

Page, S. (2015). 5 Lead Electrode Placement Cardiac Telemetry Monitor for EKG/ECG. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aBI9FQQu44


Monika, K. (2019). Telemetry Monitoring [Patient handout]. University Health Network. https://www.uhn.ca/PatientsFamilies/Health_Information/Health_Topics/Documents/Telemetry_Monitoring.pdf

Student Resources

Click here to download the student resource for this task. 


  1. Guided Reading Form for the Patient’s Guide to Telemetry Monitoring

Click here to access the Guided Reading Form


  1. What is the purpose of telemetry?


  1. Electrodes are _________ that connect to wires (a.k.a. leads) on the patient’s chest.


  1. How are the electrodes and wires/leads involved in the process of recording the patient’s heart rhythm?


  1. How does the health care team use the information they get from the EKG to help the patient?
  2. Why do you think the information in the “What can I expect?” section is included in this document?


  1. If you were the patient reading the “Why do I need it?” section, would you be nervous? Why or why not?


  1. Give two examples of a situation that may cause the telemetry unit to send a false alarm.

Bonus: What are the symptoms listed in the “Call your nurse right away if you feel” section indicative of?


  1. Video Guide for: 5 Lead Electrode Placement Cardiac Telemetry Monitor for EKG/ECG

Click here to access the video guide at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aBI9FQQu44


  1. What is the purpose of telemetry?
  2. Before you apply electrodes, what should you do? Why?
  3. Explain how to prep the skin.
  4. When you check to make sure the electrodes have not expired, what are you specifically looking for? Why?


  1. What is a trick for remembering which of the right side electrodes is toward the patient’s shoulder? (Hint: to remember which side they go on: “white” and “right” rhyme)


  1. What landmark is used to place the right arm electrode?
  2. What landmark is used to place the right leg electrode?
  3. What items that need to be avoided might be located on the patient’s left chest?
  4. What is the landmark for placing the left arm electrode?
  5. What landmark is used to place the left leg electrode?
  6. What landmark is used to place the 5th electrode also referred to as v1?
  1. Directions for creating your 5-Lead EKG artifact:

You will be creating a representation of the correct placement of electrodes for a 5-Lead EKG. The medium you use is up to you. You can create an original electronic diagram, draw the diagram on paper, or simulate electrode placement on a toy or your favorite family member. Along with the correct colors for your artifact, include a tag or legend describing the landmarks used for correct placement. Don’t forget to include a picture with your guides when you turn them in.