written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 10/4/2010
The job responsibilities of an EKG technician include performing electrocardiograms, working with patients and several other duties. I've you are interested in become an EKG tech read on to learn about the training and employment outlook for this rewarding career.
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The EKG technician is an important part of the patient care team that can be found in emergency rooms, private physician's offices, and hospital-based cardiology clinics. The EKG technician job responsibilities make them one of the first people to deal with patients who have had chest pain or experienced signs and symptoms of cardiac problems.
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The position does not require a bachelor's degree like many other medical positions. Instead, those who are interested in becoming EKG techs may take courses at a community college or career training school that offers medical programs. In these programs, students get hands-on instruction in running electrocardiograms and completing their many other duties. Once students have completed this training, they are eligible for employment.
In addition to training as an EKG technician, some programs have courses in medical billing, medical transcription, phlebotomy, laboratory assisting, CPR, and first aid that are offered to provide a complete training experience for students. Students who have other skills will have a better employment outlook and may have more options than those who only learn how to perform electrocardiograms.
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There are many potential places of employment. Hospitals need EKG technicians to work with both inpatients and outpatients. EKG technicians may be called to inpatient rooms or sent to the emergency room to obtain an EKG on someone who has chest pain or other symptoms and signs of a heart attack. Cardiology clinics and private practices can use EKG technicians to help diagnose and monitor cardiac problems in patients. Companies that provide pre-employment physicals can also hire EKG technicians. Pre-employment physicals and insurance physicals often involve an EKG to determine if any cardiac problems exist.
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Typical Job Responsibilities
EKG technicians may have to set up rooms where EKG tests are going to be performed; greet patients; set up the EKG machine; perform the EKG tests, and clean up after patients have left the room. The job requires a great deal of patient interaction and is best suited for someone who is outgoing and can keep their cool in a busy environment. EKG technician job responsibilities vary by employer and position requirements.