If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve decided to become an EKG technician. That’s a really sound decision as these professionals are in high demand. You’ll be part of the rapidly growing healthcare industry and you’ll help save lives for a living!
But determining which career is right for you was only half the battle. The other half is becoming certified.
So, which certification should you go with? CET? ETC? CEKG?
Don’t worry…I can help.
It can be very confusing keeping all of those letters straight and figuring out what they mean. I’m about to walk you through each certification so you’ll have all the information you need to make a sound decision.
But I did want to mention right off the bat that there is no need to feel any stress about certification. The truth is, any certification you choose to go with will act as a stamp of approval and help you to stand out from other candidates.
**What is FAR more important is that you choose the RIGHT training program that will prepare you to pass ANY certification exam you choose.
And don’t worry, I’ll also share some fantastic training programs that are affordable and allow adult students to study when is most convenient for them. So be sure to read this ENTIRE article!
Before we dive into the three different certifications, I did want to mention that you can read more about an EKG Technician’s salary, benefits and job prospects here
Ok, let’s dive in.
Are You Required to Become Certified?
That depends on the state you live in. Most states will require their EKG technicians to become certified.
But what if you live in a state that does not require certification, should you become certified anyway? I highly encourage you to because certification is what will set you apart from other candidates and get noticed. At the end of the day, certification offers EKG techs better job prospects, greater job security and typically higher pay!
So now let’s look at your three certification options.
What does CET stand for?
CET stands for Certified EKG Technician.
What is the CET certification?
EKG rhythms provide some important clues for the diagnosis of various heart conditions. EKG technicians that have obtained the CET certification have demonstrated their ability to perform the critical tasks of administering EKGs as well as stress testing and Holter monitoring.
Thanks to an aging population, demand for these professionals is on the rise, which means more candidates will flood the job market. Obtaining the CET certification will help you stand apart from the crowd and get you noticed.
Who offers CET? The National Healthcareer Association
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) has been an industry leader since 1989. Awarding more than 750,000 certifications to date, the organization helps to prepare EKG technicians for a rewarding career in healthcare.
The NHA’s goal has always been to improve patient care. They do this by focusing on education, advocacy and certification. As industry advocates, the organization continually engages with both regulatory and legislative bodies to promote certification for the industry.
The CET Exam
Testing will take place at your school or at a PSI Testing Center near you. You must present a valid ID. You will be given 2 hours to complete 120 questions.
How much does the CET exam cost?
The CET exam costs $109. I should mention that some certification training programs, like the ones I’m about to introduce you to, provide a voucher to cover this fee.
What topics will the exam cover?
The CET exam will cover a variety of topics, including:
- Safety, Compliance, and Coordinated Patient Care
- EKG Analysis and Interpretation
- Adhering to HIPAA regulations
- Infection control practices
- Ethical standards
- Patient vital signs
- And more
What are the requirements to sit for the CET exam?
Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to sit for the CET examination. They must also have completed a certification training program within the last five years.
What Does ETC stand for?
ETC stands for EKG Technician Certification.
What is the ETC Certification?
The ETC certification is a recognized seal of approval that a candidate has obtained the necessary credentials to safely and effectively perform their duties. These duties include performing EKGs, Holter monitoring and stress tests, as well as taking patient information and remaining compliant with HIPPA regulations.
Who offers ETC? The American Medical Certification Association
The American Medical Certification Association (AMCA) was established over 10 years ago with a mission of improving the allied healthcare industry. By providing national certification exams, the organization validates the credentials of those candidates who pass the exam. The AMCA is nationally approved and recognized as a certification organization in all 50 states. The organization’s certification increases a candidate’s marketability so they stand out from the crowd.
The ETC Exam
The exam consists of 110 questions and candidates will have two hours to complete them. The ETC exam may be taken at your school or at a PSI testing Center near you.
How Much Does the Exam Cost?
The ETC exam costs $109. But remember, many training programs will cover the cost of your exam.
Topics covered on the exam:
Some of the topics covered on the ECT exam include:
Medical terminology, anatomy and physiology of the heart, diseases and disorders of the heart, electrocardiography, pharmacology, and general patient care.
Requirements to sit for the ECT exam
To sit for the exam the AMCA recommends a minimum of 10 successful EKG’s. Beyond this, each state will have their own minimum requirements, so it is highly recommended that test candidates find out their particular state’s requirements.
What does CEKG stand for?
CEKG stands for Certified EKG Technician.
What is the CEKG certification?
Like other certifications on this list, the CEKG is validation that a candidate has received proper training and credentials and has mastered the required skill set. CEKG certification will help a candidate get noticed and get their resume to the top of the pile!
Who offers CEKG? The National Workforce Career Association
The National Workforce Career Association (NWCA), established in 2015, has played a critical role in creating the framework for assessing education achievements. To date the organization has worked with well over 500 colleges and universities to design an exam that clearly translates what a candidate knows into usable credentials that may be showcased to prospective employers.
The CEKG Exam
Candidates will have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions.
How much does the CEKG exam cost?
The exam costs $99. That is, unless you have been given a voucher from your training program, then the cost of the exam is covered in your tuition.
What topics will the exam cover?
Topics will include:
- Setting up and administering EKG tests, stress test and Holter monitoring
- Editing and delivering test results
- Basic human anatomy
- Medical terminology as related to the cardiovascular system
- And more
What are the requirements to sit for the CEKG exam?
Candidates should have received their high school diploma or equivalent and completed an authorized EKG certification training program.
Choosing the Right Certification Training Program
Well, we just covered a LOT of information so let’s take a minute to recap.
We looked at the three main certifications – CET, ECT, CEKG – and also learned a little bit about the organizations that offer each. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the one that offers the CET certification, has been around the longest and administered over 750,000 certifications at this point. But the AMCA, who offers the ETC certification, is recognized in all 50 states, and that can be attractive to some candidates.
Beyond that, the tests themselves and the exam fees are pretty even across the board.
So which certification is right for you? There’s actually a far more important question to be asking yourself and that is, what makes a good certification training program?
The truth is, to pass ANY of these certification exams, you’ll need to complete a comprehensive training program. So, set aside the certification exam right now and let’s focus on getting you connected with the right training program.
What makes a training program the RIGHT one? In our experience, there are some specific criteria that make a certification program worthy of your time and money:
The right education will prepare you for ANY certification exam, whether it’s the CET, ECT or CEKG. So there is NO NEED for you to panic about choosing the right certification exam. What you should focus on right now is finding a great training program that will get you FULLY prepared to pass ANY exam!
Take our free quiz to see what program perks you could qualify for:
What Should I look for in an EKG Technician Program?
All too often prospective students focus on cost and timeframe when researching educational programs. And while tuition and the time spent studying definitely play a factor, there are other factors that will determine what EKG tech program is worth your attention. And yes, we will speak about costs in just a minute.
In our experience, to find the right program:
Choose an Authorized School
Imagine how devastated you’d feel if you spent money on a luxury item as a gift for a loved one only to find out it was counterfeit. All of that money would be gone. The same thing can happen with certification programs.
There are a shocking number of unauthorized schools selling EKG technician training programs. These have NOT been approved and will not help you meet the requirements to sit for a certification exam. So before parting with your hard-earned money, be sure your program has been approved.
Look for Online Training
It’s not easy juggling family life, work life AND your college education. This is particularly true when you are expected to show up to X number of classes each week at your local community college. If you’re a busy adult, you need your training to be flexible and allow you to study when is most convenient for YOU. Learning online means you can study 24/7 from the comfort of your own home and never miss an important business or family function.
It MUST be Affordable
We’ve seen EKG tech programs offered at universities that costs TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars! That’s hardly affordable for most adults who have family responsibilities. OnlineDegree.com has partnered with authorized schools that offer discounts and low monthly payment plans.
Take the free quiz to see if you could qualify!
Make Sure Books are Included
Textbooks can be incredibly expensive. The right program includes books in the cost of tuition.
They Provide an Externship
Do you know what else sets you apart from other candidates besides getting certified? Gaining some real hands-on experience! The right program will include an externship placement so you can get this critical experience.
Take the Next Steps to Become an EKG Technician
OnlineDegree.com wants to help you get an affordable education that will set you up for a rewarding and lucrative career.
That’s why we’ve partnered with schools that meet ALL of this criteria.
Take a few moments to take our quiz to connect with the right certification program that matches your career goals and life situation.
All it takes is a few minutes and you could be on your way to a rewarding and exciting career as an EKG tech!
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