Electrocardiograms, or EKG, technicians are highly trained professionals who operate specialized medical equipment to obtain diagnostic information for physicians.
If you want to become one, we advise you to look closely at this career and all the requirements for admission to EKG technician courses, as well as how stable this career field is.
Those people interested in the medical field, who seek a secure job in health care but cannot devote years of costly training should think about becoming EKG technicians as in just a few months, you could be a member of the medical profession conducting EKG diagnostic tests.
EKG tests are needed by physicians to save lives, so you need to have this in mind all the time.
Whichever career you are interested in, you would be glad to find out more about possible daily duties that may await you once you finish your education and get a job.
If we think about EKG technicians, their duties involve conversing with patients while gathering valuable information on the overall functioning of their hearts.
Plus, EKG technicians start their conversations with patients by obtaining a medical history and gently explaining the procedures that will follow.
The next step consists of attaching lead electrodes to the patient’s chest and extremities to observe patterns and fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure.
EKG tests are conducted while the patient rests in bed, and stress tests are performed while the patient walks on a treadmill.
During these procedures, the EKG technician observes heart functioning while treadmill speed is steadily increased to measure the effects of exertion.
If there is an irregular response pattern, it means that there is heart disease or anatomical problems.
Then, the EKG data is printed, prepared, and presented to the physician who will review the EKG test results.
There are schools that offer EKG programs that can be finished in two months’ time.
They usually consist of 160 clock hours and studies usually cover cardiac anatomy and physiology, heart disease, pacemakers, medical terminology, and ethics.
On the other hand, there are programs that also teach phlebotomy skills and you would practice using 12-lead electrodes and interpreting EKG strips that provide data on heart performance.
Additionally, you can be taught about Holt monitors that are used for conducting longer tests.
Upon graduation, you will become eligible to sit for a state or national certification examination.
Even though it is not obligatory, most employers would either prefer or even require certification.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes EKG technicians in the category of cardiovascular technologists and technicians and they earn a median salary of $55,570.
The lowest possible income is $28,650, whereas the highest-paid made was over $89,450.
EKG technicians work full time in hospitals, but there are also people who find a job in doctors’ offices, medical laboratories, and outpatient clinics.
The work requires physical stamina as they usually stand and sometimes positioning patients with disabilities for an EKG.
Shifts can include working days, evenings, and weekends because hospitals continually need diagnostic testing.
Job Growth Outlook
According to the BLS data, it is projected that job opening for cardiovascular technologists and technicians including vascular technicians will increase 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is considered faster than the average rate of other occupations.