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What does an EKG Technician do?

The health field is alive with well-paying jobs that do not require long-term education. EKG technician jobs fall into this category.

EKG technicians can become certified as basic EKGs through one-year programs. Many EKG technicians choose to enroll in two-year associate-degree programs, which can help them become technologists. Four-year bachelor degree programs are also available, and can be especially helpful if you would like to eventually advance to supervisory positions.

EKG Technician vs. Cardiovascular Technologist

Both the EKG technician and the cardiovascular technologist deal with the heart, so they do the same work, right? Not really. Although they do share common duties:
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Patient file reviewing
  • Patient heart rate monitoring
  • Equipment operation
In addition, both help physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) conditions. But there are key differences between the two careers.

Cardiovascular technologists often specialize in invasive or non-invasive cardiology; the latter includes echocardiography and vascular technology. Invasive technologists assist physicians in cardiac catheterizing and other procedures. In other words, this occupation involves blood. In contrast, noninvasive technologists (who perform ultrasound on the heart) do not deal with internal fluids.

EKG technicians take electrocardiographs of the heart, which measures heart performance, and test heart stress. These procedures, too, are noninvasive and involve no internal fluids.

Fun heart facts for those interested in becoming EKG Technicians

Your career as an EKG technician will bring you up close and personal with the heart, a mysterious organ that captures the attention of people everywhere. Non-medical types often associate the heart with romance, but as a future heart health-care provider, you probably appreciate more practical heart matters. Here are five fun heart facts you might not already know:
  • Your heart is located at the center of your chest, between your lungs. You might think it's on the left side because it tips slightly and sticks out, tapping against the left side of the chest.
  • Kids' hearts are about the size of one of their fists; adults' hearts are about the size of both their fists.
  • Your heart beats approximately 35 million times a year; in an average lifetime, the human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times.
  • As your heart pumps blood into the body, it works twice as hard as your legs do when you are sprinting.
  • Every day, the body's approximate 6 quarts of blood travel 12,000 miles (four times the distance of the US, coast to coast)
According to the BLS, about 77 percent of EKG technicians work in hospitals. Most of the rest work in doctors' offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Numbers of jobs for EKG technicians and cardiovascular technologists are expected to grow by 24 percent.

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