An EKG (electrocardiogram) technician works in either a hospital or a doctor’s office, conducting and analyzing cardiovascular tests on patients. The job description of an EKG technician involves specific training in the use of EKG testing equipment, and the ability to analyze the results of these tests to detect any health issues.
An EKG technician assists doctors in performing cardiovascular exams on patients, overseeing, administering, analyzing, and recording tests that require special EKG equipment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of an EKG Technician
- Oversees the use of EKG equipment.
- Explains the function and process of EKG exams to patients prior to the test.
- Ensures that all patients are calm and relaxed during the process.
- Attaches EKG electrodes to patients in order to monitor heart activity and removes them after tests are completed.
- Adjusts EKG machines to individual patients.
- Administers stress tests, which monitor patient heart activity as they run on a treadmill.
- Administers Holter tests, which monitor patient heart activity for 24 hours.
- Logs and reviews test data.
- Notes specific images and places on the test results for physicians to review closely.
- Provides attending physician with test results.
- Assists cardiologists in analyzing results and cardiovascular activity.
- Consults on diagnosis and treatment when asked.
- Defers to supervising physician’s ultimate diagnosis and course of action.
- Removes and stores equipment when testing is completed.
- Ensures that all EKG equipment is working properly.
- Calls in a medical equipment repair specialist when machines malfunction.
- Requests new EKG testing equipment or supplies if needed.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates complete knowledge of the function and purpose of EKG equipment.
- Has ability to read and interpret image results of cardiograms.
- Exhibits knowledge of anatomy and physiology, as well as familiarity with health care field.
- Possesses basic science and math skills.
- Communicates clearly and calmly with patients and doctors.
- Is able to translate technical knowledge into layman’s terms for the benefit of patients.
- Pays close attention to detail.
- Maintains professional demeanor.
- Possesses physical strength necessary to transport equipment and patients and to work long shifts as necessary.
- Has ability to remain clear-headed and calm in a high-stress and fast-paced work environment.
Education and Experience
- High school diploma or GED required.
- Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree strongly preferred.
- Must successfully complete hospital training program prior to start.
- Must score 80% or higher on the EKG technician certification exam.
- Time is spent within a hospital or doctor’s office, depending on the specific position.
- Will interact daily with patients, doctors, and other hospital staff.
- Walking, sitting, standing, and some equipment lifting is involved.
- Standard 40-hour workweek applies, with some on-call weekend hours required.
- The average salary for an EKG technician is $50,000 per year.
- Salaries for the lowest-paid technicians are approximately $27,000, while the most experienced professionals make close to $80,000 per year.