If you have always been fascinated by the workings of the human heart but don’t want to go as far as becoming a heart surgeon, you can consider a career as an EKG technician. In this profession, you will be working closely with cardiac sonographers to perform echocardiograms to determine what is going on with a patient’s heart. You will be monitoring a patient’s heart performance during an EKG testing through electrodes attached to the patient’s body. You will also monitor how a person is doing during a stress test which is performed on a treadmill and is responsible for increasing the speed and recording its effect.
In addition to having the technical know-how to operate complex heart equipment, EKG technicians must also know how to pay attention to detail and have good hand-eye coordination. These skills are important in being able to get the proper diagnostic images for the doctor to come up with an accurate diagnosis.
Why Become An EKG Technician
One reason to become an EKG technician is that it enables you to still work in the rapidly-growing healthcare industry even if you don’t want to become a doctor or surgeon. You will still be part of a patient’s healthcare team but won’t have to go through the same training that physicians do. It is also a fast-growing field that presents a lot of job opportunities for aspiring EKG technicians. It’s job that also pays decently.
EKG Technician Work Environment
Diagnostic imaging workers, EKG technicians included, work in healthcare environments like the hospitals, offices of doctors and medical and diagnostic laboratories. They may do their work together with patients but most of them finish their job in rooms with diagnostic imaging machines. They work fulltime, including weekends and evenings. The work may also involve standing for long periods of time may and involve lifting disabled patients.
EKG Technician Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that cardiovascular technologists and technicians, which include EKG technicians, received a mean annual wage of $53,990 in May 2013. This is lower than that received by diagnostic medical sonographers $67,170 in that same year.
EKG Technician Career Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that from 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of EKG technicians and other cardiovascular technologists and technicians is set to grow 30 percent. This rate is much faster than the average for all job types. The demand will come from the advancement of medical imaging technology which will make imaging procedures more affordable and be done outside of hospitals. The aging population is also expected to contribute to the demand. Moreover, federal health legislation will also contribute to the demand because this will lead to more patients having more access to health insurance. Those who are certified will have an edge in looking for jobs.
EKG Technician Degree
Those who would like to become EKG technicians will need to get an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate. These courses can cover procedures in cardiovascular or vascular technology procedures. EKG technicians normally get trained by their employer in programs that last from 4 to 6 weeks. Getting professional certification is not mandatory but it will make an EKG technician’s credentials more appealing to employers. Certification can be obtained from the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals.