Career Development

What Does an EKG Technician Do?

Find out what an EKG technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an EKG technician.

EKG technicians are responsible for taking, recording, and interpreting electrocardiograms (EKGs). They use a variety of equipment to measure electrical activity in the heart and interpret this information to help doctors diagnose conditions like arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.

EKG technicians must be highly trained in their field. They must know how to properly apply electrodes to patients’ bodies, read EKG tracings, and identify abnormalities in the readings they take.

EKG Technician Job Duties

EKG technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing patients for testing by explaining the procedure and securing electrodes to their chests with adhesive tape
  • Monitoring patients’ heart rates and blood pressure levels during tests to ensure safety
  • Reading electrocardiograms (EKGs) to determine arrhythmia or other heart problems
  • Recording electrocardiogram data in a patient’s chart or on a computerized system
  • Installing and maintaining equipment such as EKG machines and cardiac monitoring devices
  • Preparing patients for diagnostic procedures such as stress tests or cardiac catheterization by attaching electrodes to their bodies
  • Preparing sterile supplies and equipment for use during procedures
  • Performing routine tasks such as cleaning floors, scrubbing walls, and dusting shelves
  • Organizing and maintaining a computer database of patient information

EKG Technician Salary & Outlook

EKG technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $225,000 ($108.17/hour)

The employment of ekg technicians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As the population ages, demand for ekg technicians will increase because older people are more likely to have heart problems than younger people. EKGs are used to detect and monitor changes in the electrical activity of the heart. As people age, they are more likely to develop heart disease or other heart conditions that require monitoring.

EKG Technician Job Requirements

The following are some of the qualifications necessary to become an EKG technician:

Education: EKG technicians are typically required to have an associate’s degree or a post-secondary certificate. These programs typically take about two years to complete and include courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology and kinesiology.

Training & Experience: Most employers require newly hired EKG technicians to complete a training program that teaches them the specific procedures and practices of the organization. Training programs may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the size of the organization and the complexity of the procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become an EKG technician, but they can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

EKG Technician Skills

EKG technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication skills are necessary for EKG technicians to convey information to patients and other medical professionals. They also use these skills to explain complex medical procedures and test results to patients. EKG technicians should also be able to communicate with other technicians and medical professionals to ensure they understand each other.

Attention to detail: EKG technicians must have excellent attention to detail to ensure they correctly read and record patient information. They must also ensure they correctly interpret the results of the EKG and apply the correct treatment. Attention to detail can also help technicians troubleshoot any issues with the EKG machine.

Time management: EKG technicians often work in hospitals and other medical facilities, where they may be responsible for monitoring multiple patients at once. This requires them to prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively.

Medical knowledge: Medical knowledge is the ability to understand medical procedures and treatments. This can help you interpret EKG results and understand the implications of any abnormalities. Medical knowledge can also help you identify any potential health risks and take the necessary precautions to keep patients safe.

Technological skills: EKG technicians use technological skills to operate and troubleshoot medical equipment. They also use technological skills to analyze data and interpret results. Technological skills are also necessary for maintaining and repairing equipment.

EKG Technician Work Environment

EKG technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. They may work full time or part time, and their hours may include evenings and weekends. Many EKG technicians work in more than one facility, so they may have to travel between locations. EKG technicians may be on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift and move patients. They may also be exposed to infectious diseases. Although the work can be stressful at times, most EKG technicians find it to be rewarding.

EKG Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how EKG technicians work. EKG technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technicians

The need for more EKG technicians is growing as the population ages. This means that EKG technicians will be in high demand, as they are needed to monitor patients’ heart rhythms and make sure that they are healthy.

EKG technicians can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in new technologies and procedures. This will allow them to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and provide better care for their patients.

More Use of Technology in Healthcare

As technology advances, it is being used more and more in the healthcare industry. This is because technology can help improve patient care and reduce costs.

EKG technicians can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with the use of technology in healthcare. This includes learning how to use electronic medical records, as well as understanding how to use software that helps diagnose diseases. In addition, EKG technicians should keep an eye out for new technologies that may be used in the future.

Greater Focus on Patient Care

The health care industry is shifting its focus towards patient care, which means that EKG technicians will be in high demand.

As hospitals and other health care facilities move towards a patient-centered model, they will need EKG technicians who are able to provide excellent care and support to patients. EKG technicians who are able to adapt to this changing environment will be in a position to excel in the years to come.

How to Become an EKG Technician

A career as an EKG technician can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s a great way to help people, and you’ll learn a lot about the human body in the process. You’ll also develop important skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.

To become an EKG technician, you’ll need to complete a training program that lasts between 6 and 12 months. During this time, you’ll learn how to take accurate readings from an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, interpret the results, and make recommendations based on the findings.

Related: How to Write an EKG Technician Resume

Advancement Prospects

An EKG technician may advance to a position as a cardiac monitor technician, cardiac catheterization laboratory technician, or cardiac rehabilitation technician. With additional training, an EKG technician may become a cardiovascular technologist or cardiovascular technician, which are more highly skilled positions. Some EKG technicians may eventually move into management positions, such as a supervisor of a cardiac catheterization laboratory or a cardiovascular rehabilitation program.

EKG Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide our patients with the highest quality of care possible. To help us achieve this goal, we’re looking for an experienced and certified EKG Technician to join our team. The ideal candidate will have prior experience performing EKG tests, as well as experience working in a hospital or clinical setting. He or she will be responsible for hooking patients up to the EKG machine, monitoring their heart rate, and recording any abnormalities. The successful candidate will be able to work well under pressure and have excellent attention to detail.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), holter monitor hook-ups, and stress tests according to departmental protocol
  • Verify patient demographics and insurance information are accurate and complete
  • Prepare equipment and supplies needed for testing
  • Position patients and attach leads according to standard procedures
  • Perform quality control checks on EKG machines and related equipment
  • Maintain cleanliness of work area and equipment
  • Follow infection control protocols
  • Educate patients and families about the testing process and what to expect
  • Answer patient questions and address concerns in a professional manner
  • Report any changes in patient condition to the nurse or physician
  • Assist with scheduling of appointments and maintaining patient flow
  • Complete all necessary paperwork and documentation in a timely and accurate manner

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of an accredited EKG Technician program
  • EKG certification from a nationally recognized organization, such as the American Society of Echocardiography
  • Basic life support (BLS) certification
  • At least one year of experience working as an EKG Technician
  • Strong attention to detail

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology or related field
  • Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification
  • Registered Cardiac Technician (RCT) credential
  • Experience working in a hospital setting
  • Familiarity with electronic medical records systems

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