Straight from the Heart

If you work in the medical field, chances are you are making a difference in the world. Whether you help with the process of dialysis or help perform EKGs for heart patients, you are a skilled individual with much to offer the world. If you want to get into one of these fields, you may be wondering where to start. What type of education is needed? Where will you be working once you obtain your degree? These are just a couple of the questions you may be asking yourself. Keep reading to learn more

An EKG technician is responsible for performing diagnostic tests to help doctors in treating and diagnosing cardiovascular problems in patients. These tests typically detect minor and severe irregularities that could result in a heart attack or heart disease. They are also responsible for monitoring a patient’s blood pressure and repositioning patients. An EKG technician works in medical facilities and spend a great deal of their time on their feet.

In order to become an EKG technician, you must first have a high school diploma. You are then qualified to receive on-the-job training or to obtain a certificate or degree at an accredited college. If you decide to obtain a certificate, this typically takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks as will any training that is obtained on the job. You will then be required to become certified in the state in which you live in.

Cardiovascular Credentialing International offers a certification examination for EKG technicians who have the required experience or education. The Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) credentialing is not required, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employers prefer applicants who have earned professional certification. Students who have completed an approved EKG training program or who have at least six months of experience will also be eligible to take the Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician exam offered by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT).

Individuals who wish to advance their skills can learn how to perform more specialized EKG tests, Holter monitoring and stress tests. This additional on-the-job training typically takes 18-24 months to complete and usually requires intensive study of physiology and cardiovascular anatomy. This training may increase job prospects and create opportunities for career advancement.

EKG technician certification programs are available at several colleges throughout the country. These programs train students on using the EKG machine and practicing correct 12-lead placement on patients. Programs may also cover medical terminology, anatomy and legal aspects of interacting with patients. Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with EKG equipment and gain hands-on experience during labs. Becoming an EKG technician requires a lot of hard work but will be worth it in the long run.

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