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Daily Duties of an EKG Technician

Anyone wishing to work in the healthcare field has a variety of employment options. One field that appeals to some people is cardiovascular care. Within this specialty, an EKG technician is a professional who usually works in clinics, laboratories, and hospitals. Daily duties associated with this position will provide ongoing challenges.

Description of Position

An EKG technician is trained to operate electrocardiogram machines for patient diagnostics. These machines work to monitor how someone's heart is performing. By connecting the machine to a patient, the electrodes and wires produce readings about how a person's heart is functioning. This position involves working under the supervision of physicians, along with others in the healthcare field, to provide diagnostic care to patients.

Job Duties

This work is not physically demanding, but technicians may need to perform some amount of lifting with machinery or patients during the administration of procedures. An EKG technician generally works in a specific treatment room that holds the medical machine. The machine has wires and electrodes that the professional must connect to the person's chest, arms, and legs at specific points. After completing this connection, the next step involves taking a baseline reading of heart activity.

Patients may also exercise on a treadmill during the monitoring period. The treadmill is programmed to operate at varying speeds to increase or reduce exertion level. The machine will detect changes in heart activity with these variances of treadmill speed, and the changes will become part of the reading.

Physicians may order Holter monitoring. To administer this procedure, the EKG technician will complete the same connection process between patient and machine. For this test, however, the person will remain connected to the machine for the next 24 hours, going about his or her regular daily routine. At the end of the 24-hour period, the technician will remove the wires and electrodes and connect the monitor to a scanner. The scanner will read the data and produce a hard copy of the test results for a physician to review.

Standard testing generally takes only about five minutes to complete. During the procedure, the professional will monitor the process to ensure that everything is proceeding as it should. After the test, the technician may need to document results to keep records of the procedure. Other associated clerical tasks such as updating charts and summarizing results are also typical for this position.

Skills Needed

The procedures performed are noninvasive and painless. However, some people may be nervous about the testing. Consequently, an EKG technician needs exemplary communication skills to enable effective interaction with patients to explain the procedure and the steps involved. Nervous individuals may need extra support and reassurance, especially if they have trouble relaxing during the test. Communication will also be important for interaction with physicians and other coworkers.

Many people find this work to be rewarding as they assist people with their healthcare needs while working with physicians and other professionals. After receiving the required education and training, you should be ready to enter the field to provide this care.

When considering training to be an EKG technician, Orange County, NY residents visit Hudson Valley Career Training.

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