If you are enthusiastic about the health industry, helping critical care heart patients may be just the career you are looking for. Electrocardiogram technicians, more commonly known as EKG technicians, monitor and test patients' cardiovascular performance using specialized equipment.
An EKG technician is someone who helps monitor and read a patient's heart activity. They print the information out and give it to the physician for analysis and diagnosis. Working in an EKG technician career, you would operate an electrocardiogram. The electrocardiogram, or EKG machine, helps read patients' electrical impulses fed through an electrode attached to read their heart rhythm.
EKG technicians may perform other duties including performing stress tests, overseeing the EKG testing procedures, and administering the Holter test. There are a variety of healthcare settings for a EKG career, such as a clinic or hospital. EKG technicians are in high demand and work long hours. Some work during the weekend and have scheduled on call hours.
You can enroll in an EKG course through a vocational healthcare institution or community college right after earning your high school diploma. This program typically takes 1 year to complete. Some employers may decide to train their EKG technicians on the job in a 4-6 week training program. Either way, it's best to become certified as an EKG technician to make yourself more favorable to employers. Certain medical expenses and procedures may not be covered by health insurance companies if it's not performed by a certified EKG technician. After earning your National Certification Career Association (NCCA) certification, you would be certified to work as an EKG technician in any state.
Many EKG technicians decide to further their education and pursue their 2-year associate's degree in cardiovascular technology. A few important courses to take would include patient assessment, cardiac electrophysiology, and advanced pulmonary pathophysiology. You would learn in the classroom how to operate the EKG equipment, cover basic cardiovascular system functions, and go through clinicals to gain first hand experience. Those looking for an advanced career may even decide to pursue their bachelor's degree.
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