1 When electronic monitors are upon thy patient, thou shalt not touch any patient with one hand whilst thy other hand be upon any electrical instrument. Doing so may provide a path for leakage currents through thy body and into thy patient and remorse will follow thee all the days of thy life.

2 Neither shall thou place one hand upon thy patient and the other upon any metal pipe, bed rail, or other grounded metal surface. This too may provide a path through thee and thy patient.

3 Upon seeing a wide baseline on an EKG machine, thou shalt not attempt to cure it by placing one hand upon the instrument or patient and the other upon the bed frame or other metal syrface. Harken diligently unto this commandment or the wrath of the voltage may descend upon thee and cook thee in thine own juices.

4 Seeing a wet area upon the floor, thou shalt immediately have it removed lest thou inadvertently step upon it and become a return path for stray currents.

5 When thou must connect two or more monitors upon thy patient, thou shalt plug them into the same cluster of wall outlets, not into widely separated outlets.

6 Thou shalt not heed the false gods who cause thee to break off the rounded prong from a three-prong power plug so that it will fit into a two-slot wall outlet. Leakage currents always return to ground and if they cannot return through the power plug, they will surely return through thee or thy patient.

7 Neither shall thou heed the counsel of the wicked when they tell thee to use an adapter to permit a three-pronged plug to fit into a two-slot wall outlet. These adapters are the work of the devil and can bring thee only unto misery.

8 Thor shalt not ignore the warning signs of impending disaster such as frayed power cords and broken insulation upon plugs and outlets. Rather shalt thou make these known to thy maintenance people for repair. Neither shalt thou fail to report a tingling sensation felt when touching thy monitors, for it may come to pass in later days that these currents will penetrate in greater force.

9 When thy patient is with intracardiac or intravascular catheters for monitoring or pacing, thou shalt not touch with bare hands any uncovered wire extending from a catheter or any bare metal terminal to which the wires may be connected. Rather thou cover these wires and terminals for protection against the touch of an ungloved hand.

10 During defibrillator, thou shalt not touch the patient with thy hands, forearms or any portion of thy body. Neither shalt thou touch the metal frame of the cart or bed. For it shall come to pass that they who heed not this commandment will suffer mighty jolts from the volts and painful cramps from the amps.


These are not my work. I found a copy of these in some very old papers when cleaning up the NCBA’s stortage building. These “10 Commandments” are well over 20 years old. Let’s update them – what “10 Commandments” would you suggest, given today’s environment of computers and non-invasive procedures? I’ll suggest one – 1. Thou shall not seteth cups of liquid, (neither coffee, water, cola nor more vigorous spirits ) above, on top of, or next to any electronic device, whether computer, monitor, or EKG, lest thou cause great smoke, fire, brimstone, and cessation of operation.