EKG Technicians are primarily responsible for conducting and analyzing electrocardiogram tests on patients. These tests help monitor the electrical activity of a heart and help the doctor analyze the cardiovascular health of a patient.
Are you interested in starting your career as an EKG Technician? Do you want to get Certified as an EKG certification?
Do you want to know about a Certified EKG Technician, what it means, and what steps you need to take to get certified and maintain your certification?
You’re at the right place because, in this article, we cover everything about a Certified EKG Technician.
What is a Certified EKG Technician?
A Certified EKG Technician (CET) is a healthcare professional who has obtained a certification in EKG tech from a nationally-recognized institution like the NHA. To obtain the certification, you have to sit for apply for the certification exam, and when you pass the exam, you’re officially a Certified EKG Technician.
An EKG Tech certification is preferred by employers and builds trust in their eyes. It validates that an individual has the knowledge, skills, and competency to perform electrocardiogram (EKG) tests and related tasks.
Why Should You Get Certified?
It has been seen that, while hiring, employers and healthcare organizations typically prefer Certified EKG Technicians. In fact, as per a recent survey, over 87% of employers encourage or require certification for EKG technicians.
Think about it, as an EKG tech; you’re working with patients daily. You’re handling expensive equipment and helping the doctor monitor (and analyze) the cardiovascular health of a patient.
Employers want to hire someone they can trust, someone that can be trusted with patients, and if you have that certification, it potentially helps in building that trust.
Ultimately, if a facility has a job opening for an entry-level EKG Technician, and if they have to choose between a Certified EKG Tech and a Non-Certified EKG Tech, they would likely prefer the one who’s certified.
Which EKG Certification Should You Get?
Okay, so obtaining that EKG Certification is paramount. The question is, which certification should you get?
Well, the #1 certification for EKG Technicians is the Certified EKG Technician Certification (CET) issued by the NHA. This certification is known to be preferred by employers, and most EKG Techs obtain this certification.
If you want to know more about the CET certification, and the other EKG certifications, you can read our related guide:
How to Obtain CET Certification & Become a Certified EKG Technician?
Now, how do you become a Certified EKG Technician and obtain your certification? Here are all the steps you need to take:-
Obtain High School Diploma/GED
Before you get your certification (or even work in the healthcare industry), the primary requirement is having a high school diploma.
This is required to be eligible for the CET exam, and in most cases, this is the primary requirement in healthcare facilities too.
Completing an EKG Technician Training Program
To get training in EKG Tech & to prepare for your certification exam, you need to enroll in a training program. In the training program, you learn about the cardiovascular system, how to conduct EKG tests, and the responsibilities of an EKG Technician.
A training program is the stepping stone that prepares you for an EKG Technician career. If you want to save money and complete your training faster, we recommend going for an online training program.
For more details on the top training programs for EKG Techs, check out our guides on:-
Conduct a Minimum of 10 EKG Tests
If you intend to sit for the CET exam, you have to ensure that you’re eligible to take the exam. Completing an EKG Tech training program is a major requirement. Apart from that, you need to conduct a minimum of 10 EKG Tests (on a patient) successfully under the guidance of an experienced doctor or physician.
Register Online For The Exam
After making sure you’re eligible for the examination, you can register for the CET exam on the NHA website. You need to create an account on the NHA website, and you simply have to follow the steps shared on the website.
Schedule The Exam As Per Your Preference
Once you register for the exam, you can have a look at the available slots and select the time and date according to your own preference. The exam is usually held at some pre-decided test center like an NHA-accredited school.
A good training program will prepare you for the exam, and that’s why choosing the right training program is important. But if you need more help, you can find a lot of stuff online, including guides, practice questions, and exam prep.
Sit For Your Exam
A CET exam usually consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 20 pretest questions. NHA uses a scaled scoring system according to which you have to score between 200 to 500. The passing score is 390 or 78%.
Get Your Result
Usually, NHA posts the results within 2 days of the exam. If you pass the exam, you can collect your certification, and you’re officially a certified EKG technician.
But what happens if you fail the exam?
After your first attempt, you get two additional attempts. You have to wait for a minimum of 30 days between the attempts. In case you fail to pass the third attempt, then you have to wait for a minimum of 12 months to retake the exam.
Top Duties of a Certified EKG Technician
Here’s the top responsibility of a Certified EKG Tech:-
- You have to conduct electrocardiogram (EKG) tests on patients by attaching electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs.
- EKG tests are used to monitor the electrical activity of a heart, and as a tech, you are required to operate and monitor EKG machines.
- You have to compassionately explain the process of an EKG test to a patient, prepare them for the test and ensure their comfort and safety
- You’re also required to maintain the EKG equipment, and you also have to recognize and troubleshoot technical issues with the EKG equipment
- Finally. you have to document and maintain accurate records of EKG results. This includes complete patient information, and if any abnormalities are observed, you have to report that to the doctor or other healthcare professionals.
How Much Do EKG Technicians Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual average mean is upwards of $45,000. Additionally, the number of jobs for EKG techs is set to rise between 8-10% in the next decade.
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