Telemetry technicians, more commonly known as electrocardiograph (EKG) technicians, perform electrical impulse testing on patients' hearts primarily to take stress factor readings. Most training for EKG technicians is done as an in-house, employer-based procedure. The amount of time put into a certification course varies widely. Successful completion of the course qualifies prospective EKG technicians to take the American Society of Phlebotomy's electrocardiograph technician certification exam. Obtaining certification is considered a measure of professionalism by prospective employers.
- Program Levels in Telemetry: Certificate
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
- Program Length: From one week to eight months, but generally from 4-6 weeks
Certificate in Telemetry Technology
Students enrolled in the certification course participate in both classroom studies as well as hands-on lab practice. Other than electrocardiography medical terminology, classes focus on relevant topics such as:
- Patient safety training
- Electrical conduction of the heart
- EKG reading interpretation
- Patient preparation
- EKG equipment troubleshooting
- Future EKG technician roles
Employment opportunities for all diagnostic medical sonographers were expected to increase by 39% from 2012-2022, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increase was due primarily to public awareness campaigns and more people opting for preventative or less invasive medical procedures. The majority of electrocardiograph technicians work in hospitals, specifically in cardiology departments. According to the BLS, as of 2014, cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned a median wage of $54,330 annually.
Continuing Education and Training
Electrocardiograph technicians learn their trade through on-the-job training from cardiologists and electrocardiograph technician supervisors. It generally takes between 4-6 weeks to complete the training period. Employers often prefer to train employees who already have experience in the medical health field. Continued training opens up opportunities as an electroencephalography technician, registered nurse or electrocardiogram monitor technician.