Referred to a Cardiac Care Center for a Holter Monitor? Helpful Tips You Need to Know

If you've recently been experiencing irregular heart rhythm problems, your primary care physician will refer you to a cardiac care center. The cardiologist will likely direct you to wear a Holter monitor for 24 to 48 hours or longer, depending on your particular symptoms as well as your lifestyle. A Holter monitor is a wearable device that is a small electrocardiogram. It's helpful in providing an electrocardiogram readout during the entire time it's worn, which will help the cardiologist see irregularities that may not be seen otherwise.

Here are several tips that can help you as you wear the Holter monitor. 

Be Selective In Your Clothing Choices

The Holter monitor will be put into place by the cardiac care center. The technician will show you how to properly wear the device and secure the electrodes. While wearing the Holter monitor, you will need to secure it to your clothing with the small clips that are attached to the monitor. The electrode leads will be placed on your torso with the wires being connected to the monitor. Therefore, be selective in the clothing you wear and avoid wearing shirts that need to be tucked in. 

Get a Doctor's Note for the Holter Monitor

Whether you plan on traveling or not, it's a good idea to get a doctor's note from the cardiac care center that says you are wearing a Holter monitor in case there is a need for you to go through a security checkpoint for any reason. 

Clean Your Skin Thoroughly

Even though the Holter monitor will be worn for at least 24 hours, you will still be permitted to shower or bathe, but you will need to remove the monitor's leads from your body in order to do so. The leads have adhesive on them that can be difficult to adhere to your skin if your skin is oily, has soap residue, or you've applied lotion. The skin should be clean and dry before the stickers for the electrodes are applied.

When you remove the leads to shower or bathe, make sure the adhesive residue is thoroughly removed before you apply the new stickers after you've finished bathing and drying off. The easiest way to remove the adhesive & residue is to use baby oil or lotion before you shower or bathe. Use a Q-tip to gently place a few drops of baby oil or lotion underneath the stickers before pulling the stickers off of your skin. Be sure to wash away the residue from the baby oil or lotion while you bathe.