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Work Environment

Cardiovascular Technicians spend a lot of time walking and standing.  Heavy lifting may be involved to move equipment or lift patients.  Those who work in catheterization laboratories may face stressful working conditions because they are in close contact with patients with serious heart ailments.  For example, some patients may encounter complications that have life-or-death implications.

Work Schedule

Technicians generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week that may include evenings and weekends.  Those in catheterization laboratories tend to work longer hours and may work evenings.  They also may be on call during the night and on weekends.

Electrocardiograph Technician

Cardiovascular Technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and vascular (blood) ailments.  Technicians perform electrocardiograms, treadmill stress tests, or Holter monitoring.

EKG Technicians are employed in doctors' offices, clinics and hospitals.  They provide critical information to physicians about patient's heart health by preparing patients for procedures, operating machines, recording, measuring heart rates and rhythms including arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).  Vital signs, medical terms, anatomy, physiology included.  Students who successfully complete course are eligible to take the EKG Technician National Certification Exam.

Prerequisites: 18 years or older; speak, read, write English.  Medical Terminology recommended.

Course Fee:  $825 (includes textbook and all classroom supplies)

Dates:       Aug. 14 - Jan. 15

Wed.

5pm – 9pm

Room 502

 

 

A background check may be required for externships, clinicals and licensing, certification or registration with the appropriate governing board.

Job Duties

Electrocardiograph Technicians assess the heart by looking at its electrical activity. This entry-level position of Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician operates and maintains EKG machines. The EKG machines detect and record electronic impulses transmitted by the heart during and between heartbeats. With additional training, these Technicians can conduct stress testing and Holter monitoring.

The EKG Technicians usually perform the test with the patient lying upon an examination table. The Technician attaches electrodes to the patient’s chest, arms, and legs. The Technician then starts the machine that records wave tracings on a roll of paper. After the test is completed, the Technician may mark sections of the report that the physician should review.

For treadmill stress tests, EKG Technicians document the patient’s medical history, explain the procedure, connect the patient to an EKG monitor, and obtain a baseline reading and resting blood pressure. Next, they monitor the heart’s performance while the patient is walking on a treadmill, gradually increasing the treadmill’s speed to observe the effect of increased exertion.

For Holter monitoring, the EKG Technicians place electrodes on the patient’s chest and attach a portable EKG monitor to the patient’s belt. Following 24 or more hours of normal activity by the patient, the Technician removes a tape from the monitor and places it in a scanner. After checking the quality of the recorded impulses on an electronic screen, the Technician usually prints the information from the tape for analysis by a physician.