To land a stable and well-paying job as an EKG technician, you are required to complete a fair amount of training that will prepare you to pass the CET (Certified EKG Technician) exam. Requirements for certification may very between states, and indeed between countries around the world. This makes it vital that you verify the requirements for EKG certification where you live or where you plan on relocating to.
Preparing For The Exam
Prior to considering taking the exam, you should ensure that you at least hold a high school diploma or an equivalent. Some states may require that you complete a two year associate’s degree but it is not always necessary. It can, however, help you to further your career in the medical field; especially if you decide to pursue a career as a nurse or other medical professional.
An accredited school is your best source of preparing for the EKG certification exam. You will receive hands-on training that will help you to become the best in your field. You most likely will not be able to complete the CET exam until you can demonstrate that you have graduated from an accredited program that offers training in cardiovascular technology. Some states require both licensing and certification while some only require that you have the certification.
A few other key factors to becoming an EKG technician include the following skills that cannot be taught.
- You will need to be in good physical shape as you will spend a lot of time on your feet, and may be required to help patients move around
- You must have a good aptitude for the mechanical
- You must be able to follow instructions
- You must have excellent communication skills in order to effectively communicate with both physicians and your patients
- You must have a calm and pleasant demeanor in order to put your patients at ease
What You Can Expect To Study
Many EKG tech programs range in length from a couple of months to two year study courses that will effectively prepare you to pass the EKG certification exam. For those that choose a longer duration education in cardiovascular technologies, your first year will typically be dedicated to your core courses that could include some of the following.
- Human anatomy
- Applied sciences
- Basic medical instrumentation
Your second year in the program will introduce you to specialized and targeted instruction in cardiovascular technology. You will learn the basics of reading EKG results, learn the correct placement of electrodes and leads, learn how to troubleshoot the machines you are working with, and also learn the best methods of performing stress tests on patients. You will also become familiar with the anatomy and physiology of cardiovascular system. The first year in EKG certification program will have introduced you to basic pharmacology; the second year will help you to identify how specific medications can potentially affect the heart and its function.
The majority of students will receive instruction in a classroom setting and also spend a significant amount of time doing lab work that will familiarize them with the machines that they will be working with, as well as with the procedures that they must follow before, during, and after the EKG test.
Once you have graduated from your training, you should feel confidently prepared to pass the EKG certification exam. Passing the exam will not only demonstrate that you are now an expert in your chosen field, but it will also reassure potential employers that they can trust their patient’s lives into your hands. You will, after all, be making potentially life-saving discoveries when you are working with cardiac patients.
With the right qualifications under your belt, you are sure to find that your skills are in high demand in hospitals and other cardiac facilities.