Becoming an EKG Technician
EKG technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating heart disease, coronary artery disease and a multitude of other heart ailments. These technicians generally specialize in one of three cardiovascular fields: invasive cardiology, echocardiography, and vascular technology. EKG technicians are often referred to as electrocardiograph technicians.
While some, although few, electrocardiograph technicians are trained on the job, most health care facilities require specific training for this position. Most technicians complete a 2- or 4-year program in order to become an EKG specialist. Many people in this field attend a community college in which the first year of studies is general education followed by another year of intense training with internships at local hospitals. Some graduates, depending on the school attended, are able to receive professional certification in this field.
The EKG technician is a highly trained and skilled professional. He or she is trained in the points in which to place the electrodes. During the electrocardiogram, the technician will likely remain in the examination room to monitor the EKD readings. When the exam is complete, the technician can use his or her training to read and interpret the graphed results. Some technicians prefer to wait and allow the physician to relay results to the patient, while others will give the patient an immediate interpretation; this is especially true if no abnormalities are suspected.
Please Note: While the medical field is probably the fastest growing and most understaffed field in the United States and the greatest need in the U.S. medical field are nurses and nurse practitioners, this is not true for EKG technicians. EKG technicians are considered a specialty within the cardiovascular field. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, among all of the specialties in the medical field, the need for EKG technicians is the most slowly growing. With less demand in the field and more student choosing to this field of study, the need for qualified EKG technicians has not grown significantly.