Top 10 best books to learn EKGs

Top 10 Best Books To Learn EKGs 

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Are you searching for the best books to learn EKGs? Look no further because I will present to you with the most popular and recommended books for EKG interpretation that will surely help you with your medical career. 

Every time your heart beats, it releases electrical signals through the heart, which triggers the muscles to contract your atria. It will then pump blood into your ventricles which is basically what keeps us alive.

Best books to learn EKGs

The EKG or electrocardiogram is a procedure that detects and records these signals in our heart. Health practitioners use this to determine possible heart conditions such as enlarged heart or any abnormal rhythms in the said organ that may induce heart failure.

As a medical student, learning how to understand EKG and be good at it is hard. Read along as I present my ultimate list of the best books to help you learn more about electrocardiography. 

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10 Popular And Most Recommended EKG Books

Rapid Interpretation of EKG’s, by Dale Dublin

Rapid interpretation of ekgs - best books on ekgs

Dale Dublin writes the first book on our list, a medical doctor teaching all about cardiograms for a little over 50 years. He graduated and took up his medical degree from Indiana University, a well-respected school in almost every field. 

A background like that tells us that the book will provide a better understanding of how to interpret EKG, just like how a professor will teach it. Did I also mention that Rapid Interpretation of EKG has been a worldwide bestseller for decades

Most students like this book because it simplifies all terms and procedures, making it easy to comprehend. It also has a good balance of illustrations and explanations that will not feel overwhelming for those who just started learning about electrocardiograms. 

EKG/ECG Interpretation Made Easy, by NEDU

EKg ecg interpretation made easy - best books to learn ekgs

Sometimes, just reading texts may seem tedious and difficult to understand. Fortunately for you, this book published by NEDU provides valuable illustrations to help you identify what a normal heart should look like from what’s not. 

In a real-life setting, you’re not going to see texts in an EKG machine but lines and intervals. These are all important as they can determine early manifestations of heart failure symptoms. 

Aside from illustrations, this book will also discuss how electrocardiograms work and how the lines are obtained. Learning how the machine works will help you understand how to interpret the results easily.

This book stands out because it’s made so easy that users report that you won’t even need a medical background to understand it

ECGs For The Emergency Physician, by Amal Mattu and William Brady

ECGs for the Emergency Physician 2

As stated in the name, this book is initially inclined to medical practitioners specializing in emergency medicine. It provides 200 EKG illustrations and detailed knowledge about EKG interpretations

For those practicing in the emergency setting, this will help you recognize heart conditions and what to do with them, even if you are provided with only a little information about the patient’s background.

However, one disadvantage of this book is that it may not be an excellent place to start your EKG journey. Some reviews say that it can be too complicated and may provide minimal information about the basics

On the brighter side, this book will help seasoned physicians on improving their ECG diagnosis

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The Only EKG Book You’ll Ever Need, by Dr. Malcolm Thaler

The Only EKG Book you'll ever need 10th ed

Reading an EKG result may seem daunting, but in reality, it’s not that difficult. What makes it hard is that you need a lot of training and experience to be good at it

This EKG book by Dr. Malcolm lives up to its name as the only book you’ll ever need. It covers all the things you should know about diagnosing heart conditions such as myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, and others. 

This book also includes real-life scenarios and instructions which you can use in your clinical training. The topics are simplified and given in a fun way to get the reader’s attention. It also has an EBOOK version, which is convenient for on-the-go students and physicians. 

12-Lead ECG: The Art Of Interpretation, by Tomas Garcia

12-Lead ECG The Art of interpretation 2nd ed

The 12-Lead ECG is a medical test wherein electrodes are placed onto the skin to pick up the electric signals from the heart and record them graphically. It’s named like that because it represents different views of the heart from 12 different angles

The 12-Lead ECG: The Art of Interpretation will help you learn the basics of the electrocardiogram. I recommend this book for nurses, medical students, and even physicians who want to improve their electrocardiography interpretation

This book discusses the complexity of ECG in a simplified and easy-to-understand approach. It includes graphic illustrations and real ECG strips with descriptions to analyze them. 

EKGs For The Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant, by Maureen Knechtel

ekgs for the nurse practitioner and physician assistant

Do you know that it’s better for you to fully understand a particular subject rather than memorizing the whole content? Understanding is when you have the confidence to apply your knowledge in real-life situations. 

As a medical student, it’s incredibly important that you don’t only familiarize yourself with the topics you need to learn but also know how and when to apply these things. This book, written by Maureen Knechtel, provides a comprehensive guide in understanding EKG

It includes a review of various health conditions in relation to EKG abnormalities. It also has medical scenarios to demonstrate what to do and how you will apply your knowledge in EKG to deal with them. 

Hartman’s Complete Guide For The EKG Technician, by Wilma Lynne Clarke

Hartman's complete guide for the ekg technician

This next book on our list is made specifically for EKG technicians or students taking up certifications to become one. However, this can be a great additional resource for medical studies.

This book is different from all other existing resources for EKG. It doesn’t just cover cardiogram instructions, but it also helps the users on how to operate the machine properly

It has over a hundred practice activities based on real EKGs, allowing users to test their knowledge about EKGs. This book teaches the users to measure intervals and heart rates, interpret waveforms, and determine rhythms

Marriott’s Practical Electrocardiography, by Galen Wagner and David Strauss

Marriot's practical electrocardiography 13th ed

Another most recommended book on our list is Marriott’s Practical Electrocardiography. As said in the name, this book provides practical solutions to enhance a resident’s EKG evaluation skills

They do this by providing searchable links and QR codes which you can access by phone or any device. These contain texts, animated videos, and illustrations that can help you understand more about heart conditions and EKG

The book is constantly updated to keep up with the latest technology and to improve medical accuracy. Interestingly, this book is more on tables and diagrams than actual texts. This can be a great book, especially for visual learners

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ECG Notes: Interpretation and Management Guide by Shirley Jones

ECG Notes Interpretation and Management Guide

If you are looking for a book with straight-to-the-point descriptions, then you’ll love this pocketbook by Shirley Jones. However, I’m telling you this early that this book is good only as an additional resource. Don’t expect a full-sized book with lengthy explanations. 

With all the terms we need to master, we sometimes forget some things, and it’s totally fine! Just pop this book out, flip a few pages, and you’re all refreshed.

What makes this pocketbook so different from others in this list is that it is fully waterproof. Coffee spills? No problem! Just wipe it off with some clean wipes, and the book is still good as new. 

Surprisingly, for something so small, this book managed to provide descriptions about the basic anatomy of the heart, concepts of ECG, and advanced cardiovascular life support algorithms. It even includes ECG strips for monitoring and interpretations. 

Goldberger’s Clinical Electrocardiography, by Ary Goldberger, Zachary Goldberger, and Alexei Shvilkin

Goldberger's Clinical Electrocardiography 10th ed

Using Dr. Goldberger’s renowned teaching method, this book provides a detailed analysis of electrocardiography. They present complex discussions coherently and clearly. 

This book is perfect for students looking for a solid book that can help them hone their EKG interpretation skills. It consists of self-tests based on clinical reviews, examples of EKG strips that will most likely happen in real life, and more. 

If you purchased from Amazon, it would come with a free eBook version. When you don’t have access to your book, you can still search for it at the comfort of your device. 

In the medical industry, it’s important to always ask yourself, “What else could my patient’s symptoms be?” This book will help you to answer that question with its list of other differential diagnoses.

The Best Book To Learn EKGs

Out of all the books mentioned here, you’re probably confused about which one you should get. Well, that will depend on what you need in medical school.

If you’re going to ask me, I’d probably go with Marriot’s Practical Electrocardiography. One of the authors, Galen Wagner, is a professor who produced hundreds of research papers regarding this field

Marriot's practical electrocardiography 13th ed


This says a lot about how accurate and valuable this book is going to be. It ensures that every reader will have a guaranteed state-of-the-art comprehension of ECG from a professional. 

This book is also technology-friendly, despite being a text-based academic resource. As mentioned earlier, it provides working links and QR codes that will direct its readers to helpful videos, illustrations, and pictures to understand the subject further. You don’t need to have prior knowledge about ECG to understand the context within this book. 

A student can learn quickly with its simplified but rich description. At the same time, professionals in practice can also use this book to refresh and update what they already know about electrocardiography. 

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Picking a career in the healthcare industry is never an easy job. However, it can be rewarding once you’re done with all the training and lessons you need to pass through.

Mastering EKG interpretation will definitely take time as it will take a whole lot of reading and experience to achieve it. As you go along your journey, having a book beside you can help you get through this time of your student life. 

Hopefully, this helped you find a book suitable for your studies. Good luck, future healthcare professionals!

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Until the next one, my friend…

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