EKG (Electrocardiogram Technician)

EKG technicians – also known as electrocardiogram technicians – monitor and test a patient’s cardiovascular performance using EKG equipment.
EKG (Electrocardiogram Technician)

EKG

EKG Technician

By attaching electrodes to a patient’s body and recording the electrical impulses transmitted by a patient’s heart with an EKG – also known as an electrocardiogram – the technician provides the data to the patient’s physician for later analysis.

Our Program

The course combines theory and practice, covering important background on the anatomy and physiology of the heart and chest, on heart disease and disease processes, on medical terminology, and on the legal and ethical aspects of patient contact. A strength of the program, however, is the practical and hands-on experience the students will receive in the use and placement of the EKG machine and other equipment, and in reading and analyzing EKG printouts to determine ‘cardiac intervals and complexes’ and normal vs. abnormal readings.

In detail, the course will cover these areas:

  • Role of the EKG technician
  • Function of the EKG Department in a variety of settings
  • Introduction to medical terminology
  • Medical terms related to electrocardiography
  • Care and safety of patients
  • Anatomy of the heart, the conduct ion system, circulation of the heart and blood vessels
  • Electrical conduction system of the heart
  • The cardiac cycle
  • EKG strip analysis (wave form interpretation)
  • Normal sinus rhythm, sinus bradycardis, and sinus tachycardia
  • Basic EKG interpretation
  • Recognizing artifacts, troubleshooting, tracing problems
  • Preparing a patient for EKG
  • 12 lead EKGs (interpretation and troubleshooting)
  • 12 lead placement

Certification & Licensing

EKG technicians may have an Associate’s Degree, a certificate, or be trained in-house by their employer.  Most all need a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.  While EKG technician certification is not necessary to work as an EKG technician, it will definitely provide a competitive edge in your job search.  Also, Medicare and many other health-insurance companies will only cover the patient’s procedure if it is performed by a Certified EKG Technician (CET). Obtaining the designation of Certified EKG Technician can greatly increase the chances of employment.

  • The CET exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions, and the taker will have a little less than two hours to complete it. This exam costs $110 to take. In order to keep the CET designation, one must complete 10 continuous educational credits per year and pay an annual fee of a little under $80. Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
  • Prepare and position patients for testing.
  • Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
  • Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
  • Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.

An Average Work Day

  • Oversee EKG test procedures
  • Record EKG readings
  • Perform stress tests
  • Administer Holter monitoring tests
  • Provide EKG test data to physicians
  • Help oversee EKG test procedures

Skills and Qualities for Success

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for EKG techs looks excellent, as career opportunities for cardiovascular technicians and technologists are projected to grow 29% from 2010-2020. This is significantly faster than the average job growth for other occupations. As the baby boomer population ages, the need for EKG technicians will continue to grow, and as medical imaging technology advances, hospitals and labs will replace more currently invasive procedures with less invasive, more affordable imaging options.

Employment opportunities for EKG techs are expected to grow more rapidly in private diagnostic laboratories and doctor’s offices, although hospitals will still employ the majority cardiovascular technicians.

Most of the EKG tech jobs will be found in hospitals, but some doctor’s offices also staff this position or use their clinical medical assistants to provide the test. EKG techs can work standard 40 hour weeks, although the occasional weekend will also be required. EKG technicians working in labs tend to put in longer working hours and may be on call.

The median full-time EKG tech salary in the United States is $50,000 per year. The lowest 10% of EKG technicians, entry-level, minimal experience earned around $27,000, but the top 10% who have acquired more advanced EKG skills earned salaries exceeding the $77,000 mark.

*A job as an EKG Technician falls under the broader career category of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians.

EKG Technician

EKG technicians – also known as electrocardiogram technicians – monitor and test a patient’s cardiovascular performance using EKG equipment.  By attaching electrodes to a patient’s body and recording the electrical impulses transmitted by a patient’s heart with an EKG – also known as an electrocardiogram – the technician provides the data to the patient’s physician for later analysis.

Our Program

The course combines theory and practice, covering important background on the anatomy and physiology of the heart and chest, on heart disease and disease processes, on medical terminology, and on the legal and ethical aspects of patient contact. A strength of the program, however, is the practical and hands-on experience the students will receive in the use and placement of the EKG machine and other equipment, and in reading and analyzing EKG printouts to determine ‘cardiac intervals and complexes’ and normal vs. abnormal readings.

In detail, the course will cover these areas:

  • Role of the EKG technician
  • Function of the EKG Department in a variety of settings
  • Introduction to medical terminology
  • Medical terms related to electrocardiography
  • Care and safety of patients
  • Anatomy of the heart, the conduct ion system, circulation of the heart and blood vessels
  • Electrical conduction system of the heart
  • The cardiac cycle
  • EKG strip analysis (wave form interpretation)
  • Normal sinus rhythm, sinus bradycardis, and sinus tachycardia
  • Basic EKG interpretation
  • Recognizing artifacts, troubleshooting, tracing problems
  • Preparing a patient for EKG
  • 12 lead EKGs (interpretation and troubleshooting)
  • 12 lead placement

Certification & Licensing

EKG technicians may have an Associate’s Degree, a certificate, or be trained in-house by their employer.  Most all need a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.  While EKG technician certification is not necessary to work as an EKG technician, it will definitely provide a competitive edge in your job search.  Also, Medicare and many other health-insurance companies will only cover the patient’s procedure if it is performed by a Certified EKG Technician (CET). Obtaining the designation of Certified EKG Technician can greatly increase the chances of employment.

  • The CET exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions, and the taker will have a little less than two hours to complete it. This exam costs $110 to take. In order to keep the CET designation, one must complete 10 continuous educational credits per year and pay an annual fee of a little under $80. Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
  • Prepare and position patients for testing.
  • Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
  • Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
  • Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.

An Average Work Day

  • Oversee EKG test procedures
  • Record EKG readings
  • Perform stress tests
  • Administer Holter monitoring tests
  • Provide EKG test data to physicians
  • Help oversee EKG test procedures

Skills and Qualities for Success

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for EKG techs looks excellent, as career opportunities for cardiovascular technicians and technologists are projected to grow 29% from 2010-2020. This is significantly faster than the average job growth for other occupations. As the baby boomer population ages, the need for EKG technicians will continue to grow, and as medical imaging technology advances, hospitals and labs will replace more currently invasive procedures with less invasive, more affordable imaging options.

Employment opportunities for EKG techs are expected to grow more rapidly in private diagnostic laboratories and doctor’s offices, although hospitals will still employ the majority cardiovascular technicians.

Most of the EKG tech jobs will be found in hospitals, but some doctor’s offices also staff this position or use their clinical medical assistants to provide the test. EKG techs can work standard 40 hour weeks, although the occasional weekend will also be required. EKG technicians working in labs tend to put in longer working hours and may be on call.

The median full-time EKG tech salary in the United States is $50,000 per year. The lowest 10% of EKG technicians, entry-level, minimal experience earned around $27,000, but the top 10% who have acquired more advanced EKG skills earned salaries exceeding the $77,000 mark.

*A job as an EKG Technician falls under the broader career category of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/cardiovascular-technologists-and-technicians.htm
http://www.nhanow.com/ekg-technician.aspx

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