Telemetry Technicians vs. EKG Technicians

Telemetry monitoring and EKGs both monitor a patient’s heart activity and many people consider these two systems as similar.

However, there are some key areas that make them quite different.

If you belong to those people who wonder about the difference between what telemetry technicians and EKG technicians do, we are here to explain the main distinction.

What Do Telemetry Technicians Do?

Telemetry technicians specialize in monitoring patient heart activity.

Telemetry is a system that is specially designed to monitor the electric system of cardiac activity and detect problems or disparities in heart rhythms.

Telemetry technicians must be highly skilled individuals who have passed rigorous training to be able to pick up on the slightest variation in human heart rhythms.

To reach this profession, telemetry techs typically go through 120 hours of coursework which is designed to teach them to adhere EKG leads to a patient, recognize normal and abnormal heart rhythms, and integrate into hospital units, including intensive care units and telemetry departments, as well as any other unit that requires heart-monitoring services.

So as to be allowed admission into a telemetry program, you will be required to possess a high school diploma and clean drug screening and background checks.

The daily duties of telemetry technicians are to monitor heart rhythms, perform various types of cardiac monitoring, including stress testing and Holter monitoring, and send reports to patient doctors.

What Do EKG Technicians Do?

On the other hand, EKGs, or electrocardiograms, are noninvasive tests that also monitor the heart’s electrical patterns.

However, there is a difference, as, during an EKG test, a technician places leads in key areas of the patient’s body to gather information about a patient’s heart rhythm, and records the electrical impulses that a patient’s body transmits and interprets them for patient physicians and further analysis.

The same as telemetry technicians, EKG technicians also administer Holter monitoring tests, but the main difference is that EKG tests look at a more accurate assortment of data than telemetry tests, including the heart’s rhythm mechanism, its orientation, whether or not it has thickened in areas, present damage and evidence of blood flow.

EKG tests are also used to evaluate electrical activity that seems abnormal and may be a warning sign of cardiac arrest.

EKG technicians can look for a job in a hospital setting or local doctor’s offices.

Not everyone can become an EKG technician.

These students must obtain a certification from a four to a six weeks training program.

Many EKG technicians have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in their background and may take additional background courses in science, health, anatomy, math, or physiology.

So as to be allowed to work, EKG technicians are not required to be certified, but it is always a wise decision to get a license, as most employers require it when hiring.

The Differences Between the Two Positions

When the similarities are in question, both EKGs and telemetry monitor a patient’s unique electrocardiogram for a period long enough to obtain information.

However, telemetry is a relatively general form of monitoring, while EKG technicians perform a more specific type of monitoring.

All EKGs are telemetry tests, but not all telemetry tests are EKGs.

Also, there are some differences in how technicians gather and report data, and how the two types of tests are used in hospital and clinical settings.

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