An EKG Technician is responsible for the administering and analyzing of medical tests to patients on the heart and other parts of the cardiovascular system using specialized imaging technology. These types of tests include electrocardiograms and cardiac catheterizations. They often work within the radiology department in hospitals, radiology centers and medicals facilities.
The EKG Technician may also be asked to assist in certain surgical procedures related to cardiology. They are issued requests for testing from physicians and surgeons.Duties:
- Patient Preparation - This responsibility includes gathering patient history, prepping the patient for the test, explaining the procedures and answering patient questions
- Manage diagnostic machinery - This task entails servicing of the imaging equipment and prepping the equipment for use
- Perform the actual tests using appropriate machinery
- Analyzing the test results and forwarding analysis and findings to the requesting physician
- Record and maintain patient records relevant to any and all applicable testing
The title EKG Technician is a very specific area within the overall realm of cardiology and cardiovascular testing. Other popular relevant job titles include a Cardiovascular Technologist, a Electrocardiogram Technician, a Cardiac Catheterization Technician and a Cardiopulmonary Technician.
Ekg Technician Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for Cardiovascular Technicians is $52,070 based on 2012 wage data. Most EKG Technicians work at least the standard 40 hour work week. Some hospitals and medical facilities will require overtime due to workload.
They also work weekends and night shifts in 24 hour facilities. EKG Technicians employed in private radiology centers tend to make a slightly higher salary than those employed in medical facilities.
How to become a ekg technician
If a person is certified as a EKG Technician, they are considered to a have a specific skill set as opposed to physicians who are required to have a well rounded background in medicine. Due to this fact, the task of becoming a EKG Technician is relatively uncomplicated. The are usually required to have some level of education in the field. A Bachelor's may be preferred, but an Associate's degree will usually suffice for most employers. For individuals already experienced and certified in a related field, many employers will be satisfied with a course certificate from an accredited vocational school. During the education process, the prospective EKG Technician will most likely have received some type of hands-on experience. Once the educational process is completed, most hospital and medical facilities require state certification prior to being hired. State certifications are issued following the completion of the state's board exam with a passing score.How Long Does It Take To Become An EKG Technician:
The process of becoming a certified EKG Technician is not particularly cumbersome. At a minimum, the time needed to earn an Associate's degree (typically two years) and sitting for the state board exam should take no longer than a little over two years to complete. It will take a couple of extra years if the prospective EKG Technician seeks to acquire a Bachelor's degree.Educational Requirements:
In order to enroll in college or a vocational school, the student will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. As mentioned above, the advanced educational requirements will depend largely on whether the student is pursuing an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. At a minimum, the student should make sure the college or vocational program they are attending is accredited. This is usually required by the state board and Medicare. In high school, students interested in becoming an EKG Technician might want to focus on classes such as Biology and Anatomy. Course study in college should include Ethics, Anatomy, Applied Sciences and Physiology. Most accredited degree programs for medical technicians will also include course study related directly to the students chosen specialty. Within that specialty, the student should receive receive credits for on-the-job training under a relevant specialist.Certification:
Almost all hospital and medical facilities require state certification. One important reason for this requirement is that Medicare will only cover testing administered by certified EKG Technicians. The certification exam requirement may vary from state to state, but many states require at least an Associate's degree from an accredited college or vocational school. All states will test for knowledge regarding cardiology and the cardiovascular system, analyzing EKG reports, various heart conditions, pharmacology and medical reporting. The price for the exam varies by state, but the amount is usually not significant.Licensing:
At this point in time, there are no states that require licensing for a EKG Technician. The certification process is sufficient for hospitals and medical facilities.
According to the BLS, there are currently 110,400 relevant technicians employed throughout the country. The overall expected growth rate is 30% for Cardiovascular Technicians over the next 10 years. This rate is significantly higher than the growth rate expected in many other industries. Advanced technology is quickly replacing invasive procedures. The need for medical technicians in many fields is expected to increase as medical facilities turn more to technology for diagnosing and testing.
Other factors that account for this anticipated increase is the growing and aging population, more individuals insured due to the Affordable Care Act, and a growing trend towards providing more outpatient services.