01.18 Electromyography (EMG)

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Study Tools



  1. Electromyography (EMG)
    1. Needles inserted into muscle
    2. Assess nerve and muscle transmission

Nursing Points


  1. Procedure
    1. Small electrode needles are inserted into muscle
    2. Patient contracts muscle
    3. Electrical impulses measured through electromyograph
  2. Purpose
    1. Diagnose nerve/muscle disease
    2. View transmission of impulses
  3. Indications
    1. Numbness
    2. Tingling
    3. Muscle weakness


  1. Before
    1. Explain procedure
    2. Clean skin to remove oil
    3. Tell patient the insertion will sting

Therapeutic Management

  1. During
    1. Doctor will place needles
    2. Doctor will give patient direction
  2. After
    1. Doctor removes needles
    2. Assess site for bruising and redness

Nursing Concepts

  1. Mobility -> altered mobility may indicate EMG
  2. Functional Ability -> altered functional ability may indicate EMG

Patient Education

  1. Tell patient they may feel tenderness days after
  2. Doctor will provide results


Hey guys! Welcome to the lesson on the electromyography or EMG!

The purpose of the EMG is to assess nerve and muscle transmission to diagnose disease. Let’s discuss the procedure. 

During the procedure, electrode needles are inserted into the muscle. The doctor tells the patient when to contract the muscle, and the impulses are read through the electromyograph. Let’s explore the indications for the EMG.

The doctor might order an EMG if the patient is experiencing numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. An example is that my husband had an EMG done years ago on his wrist and they diagnosed him with carpal tunnel. Let’s talk about the nurse’s role. 

If the doctor orders the EMG, explain the procedure to the patient. Clean the skin and let the patient know that the needle insertion will sting. 

During the procedure, the doctor will place the needles and give the patient direction on muscle contraction.

After the procedure, the doctor will remove the needles. Assess the site for bruising and redness. 

The priority nursing concepts for the patient with an EMG are mobility and functional ability. 

Alright guys, let’s review the key points. The EMG is a test where small electrode needles are inserted into a muscle to measure nerve and muscle functioning to diagnose disease. The doctor might order this test if the patient has any numbness, tingling, or weakness. Before the procedure, explain it to the patient and clean the skin. During, the doctor will place the electrodes and provide direction to the patient on muscle contraction. Assess the site after for bruising and redness. 

Okay guys, that’s it on the EMG! Now go out and be your best self today, and as always, happy nursing!