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EKG Technician Jobs

By an allied health world contributing writer

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EKG Technician jobs are extremely important in obtaining the necessary information cardiologists need to make important decisions about a patient’s health. Electrocardiograph technicians, commonly referred to as “EKG Techs,” work in non-invasive cardiovascular technology, performing EKGs, Holter monitor procedures, and stress tests on a treadmill. The details EKG Technician job duties are outlined below:

EKG Tests

EKGs, sometimes referred to as “12 leads”, are electrical recordings of the heart. These tests involve monitoring electrical EKG Technicianimpulses being transmitted by a person’s heart. The main job duty of an EKG technician involves attaching electrodes to a patient’s chest, arms and legs. The placement of the electrodes is crucial to the results of these tests, to ensure the readings are accurate and meaningful. The EKG tech uses his/her knowledge of using the advanced EKG machine to manipulate appropriate switches in order to obtain an accurate reading. These results are then printed for the cardiologist to further interpret.

Treadmill Stress Tests

Treadmill “stress tests” are typically performed on patients who complain of chest discomfort or have had abnormal EKG readings. During a stress test, an EKG Tech first records the patient’s medical history, explains the procedure, and checks the patient’s resting blood pressure. After the EKG Tech attaches a 12-lead monitoring system to the patient’s chest, he/she walks on a treadmill. The EKG Tech increases the speed and incline of the treadmill to measure the amount of stress placed on the heart under physical exertion. This test is generally supervised by the requesting physician since there is intentional stress being put on the heart.

Holter Monitor Test

Holter monitor tests are used on patients in order for cardiologists to diagnose heart problems like pacemaker problems or rhythm abnormalities. Typically these tests are done over the course of a 24-hour period or sometimes longer, monitoring the patient carrying out their normal daily activities. EKG Techs typically handle the setting up and removal of Holter tests. First the EKG Tech places electrodes on the chest of the patient and then attaching a portable monitor to a belt the patient wears. When the patient returns to the hospital or cardiologists office, typically 24 hours later, the EKG Tech removes the monitor’s tape and puts it in a scanner to check the quality of the recorded impulses. This information is then printed for the cardiologist to analyze.


Are EKG Techs able to insert an intravenous line (IV)?

Some EKG Techs are trained on how to start an IV. This is a useful skill in this line of work because some patients are unable to walk to perform a traditional Treadmill Stress Test. For these individuals an EKG Tech may need to administer medication to perform a Stress Test. This medication forces the patient’s heart to beat faster since they are unable to walk to create physical exertion.

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