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EKG Technician Training, Schools and Description

Are you looking for a career in the healthcare industry? Do you want to help others who are sick in your community? Do you think you’d rather enter the workforce sooner rather than later? If you answered yes to these questions, you may want to consider becoming a EKG Technician.

Cardiovascular Technologist and EKG Technician Careers

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians (sometimes called EKG technicians) help physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat various heart and blood conditions. While cardiologists are doctors who spell out what types of tests or procedures their patient needs, cardiovascular technologists and technicians are often the ones who carry them out. EKG technicians, for example, not only handle much of the paperwork, but they also prep patients (which sometimes involves shaving and cleaning them), and work closely with surgeons during invasive procedures such as surgeries and various treatments.

While technicians specialize in electrocardiograms and stress testing, technologists may specialize in different areas of practice: invasive cardiology, non-invasive—which includes echocardiography—or vascular technology.

Training and Educational Requirements for Cardiovascular Technologists and EKG Technicians

With the exception of EKG technicians, few cardiovascular technologists or technicians are trained on the job. Most technicians attend two- or four-year training programs. EKG technicians typically go through on-the-job training, but most employers prefer candidates with prior health care experience, such as a home health aide, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) says. There are also one-year training programs that could be helpful for those who do not have experience in the health care field.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology now recognizes 33 accredited training programs. Most schools require you to dedicate first-year studies to core science and biology courses while the second is directed toward study in your chosen specialty. These include invasive, noninvasive cardiovascular or noninvasive vascular technology.

EKG Technician Certification

Graduates of EKG training programs will be eligible to receive certification in cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, and vascular ultrasound from Cardiovascular Credentialing International, if they meet the requirements. Cardiac sonographers and vascular technologists also may obtain licensure from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Certification is a solid way for cardiovascular and EKG technicians to begin their career. Formal training provides the necessary educational background to make you a better-qualified candidate, which means more job opportunities, and likely, higher starting salaries.

Job Outlook and Salary Potential for EKG Technicians and Cardiovascular Technologists

Employment for cardiovascular technicians and technologists is expected to grow much faster than average at 24 percent through the year 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics asserted in 2011. The aging population is one of the reasons, with its increased incidence of heart problems.

The median annual salary for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, was $50,720 in 2010, reports the bls.gov.

To join this fast-growing career with solid employment prospects, all you need is the right education. Explore some of our cardiovascular technician and technologist schools today.

Additional Resources For Future EKG Technician and Cardiovascular Technologist Professionals:
Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals
Bureau of Labor Statistics Profile for Cardiovascular Technologists

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