Holter Monitor

A Holter Monitor is a small device that takes a constant record of your heart’s rhythm for a period of time.  The Holter Monitor is often administered to patients after they have already taken an electrocardiogram and the results deemed additional data on the heart’s rate and rhythm was necessary.  The Holter Monitor is applied in clinic and is to be worn at home.  This record will help your doctor know how your heart responds.  

Why It’s Done

  • To assess for slow, fast, irregular, or abnormal heart rhythms
  • To see what your heart rhythm does during any symptoms you may have
  • To see if your medications are working

How to Prepare

  • Do not use any lotions, body oils, powdered or scented products before or during the test
  • If possible, shower before you come for the test as you will not be able to shower, bathe, or swim while wearing the monitor
  • Wear a loose-fitting top or button front shirt. The electrodes are placed high on the chest so you may wish to have a scarf or high-necked top to cover them
  • Bring a list of medicine(s) you are taking or bring all medicine(s) you are taking in the original containers 
  • Tell the staff if you have any skin allergies or sensitivities to tape or electrodes

What to Expect During the Test

  • Small areas on your chest maybe shaved and prepared for a clear reading during the test
  • The electrodes will be placed on your chest, attached to wires that plug into the monitor. The wires will be secured for the duration of the test
  • The monitor will be worn on a belt or placed in a pouch over your shoulder while your go about your usual activities
  • A record sheet (patient diary) will be given to you to keep track of what you are doing and how you are feeling. A staff person will go over how to do this at the time your monitor is put on. 

After the Test

  • You may be asked to return to have the monitor removed or to remove it yourself and return it to a specific location
  • Do NOT use sharp tools to remove the electrodes 
  • Do NOT cut the wires
  • Do NOT remove the batteries
  • The monitor and diary must be returned on time for other patients to have the equipment for their tests
  • The primary care provider who ordered the tests will receive the results
  • Timelines for results may vary across the province

If you require further information, please contact the health facility/clinic that will be doing your test or your primary care provider