Special Technologies and Services
Electrocardiographic Technician

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Salary: $21,868 - $43,229
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Hourly: $9.89 - $19.99
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Outlook: 3 Stars
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Length of Training: 8-16 weeks
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Electrocardiographic technicians, also known as EKG technicians, operate noninvasive equipment which prints graphic tracings of electrical impulses transmitted by the heart. These tracings are interpreted by the cardiologist (physician who specializes in heart problems) to aid in the diagnosis of heart disease, monitor the effect of drug therapy, and analyze changes in the condition of the patient’s heart over a period of time.

Areas of Specialization

Electrocardiographic technicians may assist in other diagnostic tests for cardiac evaluation including continuous ambulatory Holter monitoring (stress testing) and cardiac cathertization. Holter monitoring records cardiac rhythms for 24-48 hours while patients pursue normal activities. Stress testing monitors and records a patient’s cardiac rhythm during a period of prescribed exercise. Training for these specialties can vary from on-the-job training to a two-year college program in cardiac technology.

Work Environment

EKG technicians can be employed in the EKG departments of hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and cardiac rehabilitation centers. The electrocardiographic technician prepares the patient for the exam by attaching electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs. The chest electrodes are moved across the chest to record variations in electrical potential in different parts of the heart. EKG technicians are responsible for maintaining equipment and supplies, preparing the patient for the tests, and monitoring the patient during the test. EKG technicians must be able to recognize emergencies and alert the physician. Other duties may include scheduling of appointments, data entry of patient information, typing of physician’s interpretations, and maintaining patient files.