How to Become an EKG Technician - Start Your Career in This Rapidly Evolving Field

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Published: 06th January 2011
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Are you interesting in practicing Cardiovascular Medicine? Do you wish to become an (Electrocardiographic) EKG Technician? Here are some important facts to help you start your career as a cardiac sonographer.

Education Pre-requisites
After finishing high school, you must first complete an associate's degree, which is usually two years long. Next, you must start training towards becoming an EKG Technician. If you are new in this field, you must avail a certification which normally takes a year to earn, or start an internship that lasts 18 to 24 months. But if you are transferring from another field, then all you need is training that takes about 4-6 weeks.

Although you do not need any certification to work as a technician, it is always recommended to get certified from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

However, before stepping into this field, you must choose between three different specialties: invasive cardiology, echocardiography or vascular technology.

Job Description
As an EKG Technician, you will have to administer cardiovascular tests on patients by using electrical impulses and transmitting them to a patient's heart. Normally, your primary role would be to help doctors assess and treat heart problems using non-invasive methods. This is normally done in two different ways -

1. As an EKG Technician, or cardiac sonographer, you will be asked to observe different heart valves, chambers and vessels with the help of ultrasound equipment. These gadgets allow you to take echocardiograms or images of the heart while the patient is resting or active in order to evaluate his heart's functions.

2. Another method to test your patient's heart capacity is through Electrocardiography or ECG. Here electrodes are attached on a patient's entire body in order to monitor his/her heart capacity. As an EKG Technician, you can conduct an ECG through different methods such as the Holter monitor testing technique which checks a patient's read-out over 24 hours, or the treadmill stress testing method which involves working the patient gradually harder on a treadmill in order to detect changes in his/her cardiac reading. The results of the tests are taken into consideration while planning the heart surgery.

Career Outlook
This job can sometimes be quite stressful, especially when you are treating patients suffering from serious and life threatening cardiovascular problems. On a regular working day, you can expect to work for at least five hours on an average, i.e. 40 hours a week. Moreover, you are most likely to spend a majority of your time either standing or walking around a hospital to check up on your patients. However, on the brighter side, an EKG Technician holds promising future growth and its demand is expected to grow very quickly. At the moment, the average income within this profession is $60,000 a year.

If you wish to become an EKG Technician, then you can surely expect an exciting and lucrative future ahead.

Lisa Thomas is your guide to medical careers.

Learn about EKG Technician education, job and salary. Search for health care schools near you and receive free information from EKG Technician schools at

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