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PA prof seeks to improve EKG analysis with new book

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (June 14, 2017)— When Maureen Knechtel, assistant professor of physician assistant studies at Milligan College, sat down to write her book on EKG (electrocardiogram) interpretation, she had one major goal in mind.

“My hope was that it led to lives being saved,” said Knechtel. “Often times, physician assistants are the first line of defense. Time is critical, and if you can spot something right away, it could save lives.”

With the launch of Milligan’s PA program right around the corner (January 2018), Knechtel hopes the book will help teach her new students a better, more systematic method to read a commonly misunderstood report on the heart’s electrical activity.

“In my experience, I noticed a lot of people don’t feel comfortable with EKG interpretation, so that’s why I developed my own system based on how I interpreted them,” she said. “It was very successful with my students, so I decided to put it to paper.”

Knechtel has spent her clinical career practicing in general cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. She teaches EKG recognition and interpretation to physician assistants and nurse practitioners and is a guest lecturer nationally on topics including EKG interpretation, chronic angina, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, hypertension and mixed hyperlipidemia.

With the book’s second edition, released in April by Springer Publishing, Knechtel sought to add more real-world examples with additional analysis not only to help college students, but practicing healthcare professionals who read EKGs on a daily basis and want to improve.

Currently, her book is required or recommended at 25 colleges and universities nationwide and is available for purchase through most major bookstores, Amazon and Springer Publishing.

Knechtel received a bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants, whose annual conference she speaks at regularly.

The Milligan College Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2018, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the September 2017 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Posted by on June 14, 2017.