An EKG, or an electrocardiogram, is used to examine and keep track of the electrical impulses that cause a heart to beat. This information then allows health care specialists and physicians the ability to identify any irregularities in heartbeat patterns and thus, detect heart-related issues. Yet, gaining this insight requires the specialized skills of an EKG Technician.
EKG Technicians are those that set up and read EKG machines. They work closely with their patients to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed. Although the use of an EKG is noninvasive and painless, it can still make patients feel uneasy. Therefore, it is necessary to have strong communication skills. EKG Technicians also work closely with physicians, especially if an irregular heartbeat or abnormality is detected.
But what do the daily duties “in the hospital” look like for an EKG Technician?
As an EKG Technician, you will be performing electrocardiogram tests with individual patients in a separate room with an EKG machine. The use of this machine requires that a technician attach 10 electrodes to a patient’s body: six across the chest, one on each of the forearms just above the wrists, and one near each of the feet (Allyson Barys does an excellent job in this video demonstrating the placement of EKG electrodes). It can take up to five minutes for the EKG to test the patient. Meanwhile, it is a part of a technician’s duties to ensure that all electrodes are working and attached throughout the test, as well as ensuring all parts of the equipment are functioning. As soon as the test is finished, a copy of the results will be printed to be shared with the doctor or cardiologist for analysis, or if any abnormalities were detected. Then, a copy of the test results must be filed in with the patient’s medical history. Finally, the room must be cleaned and prepared for the next patient (check out this video for a quick, 1-minute recap of an EKG Technicians job duties, complete with a heart-revving soundtrack).
While these tasks seem straightforward, they require much skill and accuracy. Furthermore, it can be extremely fast-paced depending on the environment in which you work; in some hospitals you may have back-to-back patients and test results that must be shared as soon as possible. Despite these challenges, skill and accuracy, as well as strong communication, will remain paramount.
At NCE in Sacramento, California, we not only train you for the daily duties of an EKG Technician as described above, but we’ve also designed a program that will prepare you for entry-level employment as a Lab Assistant or Phlebotomist. This only increases your job opportunities in “real life.”
Have any questions? Interested in NCE’s Lab Assistant, EKG Technician/Phlebotomist Diploma and jump-starting your employment as an EKG Technician? Give us a call here, or join and like us on Facebook today!