An EKG technician (aka electrocardiograph technician) is a certified medical technician who operates medical equipment that is designed to monitor and record the electrical signals and heart rate of a patients or athletes heart.
EKG testing is extremely important for ensuring the safety and health of the patient who is being monitored and may be used when a patient is undergoing surgery, dealing with heart complications, being administered certain (heart elevating) medications for the first time and during physical exams among other activities and stressors that may cause undo stress to the patients heart and/or cardiovascular system.
EKG testing may occur before, during and/or after a surgery or operation, during physical exams and at times when a patient is involved in situations that may cause an elevated or unnatural heart rate/rhythm.
When it comes to operating in the field EKG technicians may operate in a number of settings such as a hospital, ambulatory vehicle, doctors office, health care clinic or any other health care facility that is likely to benefit from having an EKG technician available.
Aside from being using in the medical field to improve patient health EKG tests are also performed during athletic training and examinations in order to understand how an athletes heart and cardiovascular system is responding to a particular type of stressor such as running on a treadmill or swimming in a pool.
This information can be used to help athletes adjust their training intensity and/or regimen in order to perform better and for longer durations.
Becoming certified as an EKG technician is a relatively fast process with class work and exams being done over the course of a week.
Note: As of June 2013 classes are being offered as a 28 hour program.
Certification may also require aspiring technicians to obtain around 40 hours of monitored apprenticeship work experience before being able to earn their certification and begin their career as an EKG technician.
During the certification program individuals will learn about anatomy and physiology (how the body works), common diseases and medical complications that may lead to cardiovascular issues and/or heart problems, important medical terminology that is related to their primary job function and how to properly operate, clean and assemble/disassemble EKG medical equipment among other things related to their role in the medical field.
EKG technicians must have a good understanding of how to interpret the results of the EKG equipment and be able to communicate those results to the medical professional or fitness coach they work with.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an EKG technician there are a number of online and offline resources that you can find by doing a quick Google search for “EKG technician”.
You can also check out the National Healthcare Association the American Red Cross for more information.