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.
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.
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.