Telemetry technology certificate programs provide the technical and practical training necessary to recognize and monitor heart rhythms via cardiac equipment, such as electrocardiograph (EKG) devices. These programs often include a clinical practicum and are designed to prepare students to become cardiac monitor technicians. Cardiac monitor technicians, also referred to as cardiac telemetry technicians, work in intensive care units of healthcare facilities and are responsible for monitoring patients' heart rhythms and informing physicians of abnormalities. They must learn to read patient records and determine if physicians should be notified of cardiac irregularities.
Prerequisites to enroll in a certificate program in telemetry technology include a high school diploma or GED. In addition, students may be required to pass a standard criminal background check.
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Certificate in Telemetry Technology
The clinical and classroom training for a telemetry technician differs from the training for an EKG technician; it does not teach students how to administer EKG tests, only to monitor screens for potentially dangerous abnormalities. Courses usually contain only two or three actual classroom lectures in addition to a clinical component. Students must learn to read and interpret EKG tests to earn the certificate of completion. Some topics covered in the courses and the clinical include:
- EKG rhythm strip test
- Lead interpretation
- Ventricular rhythms
- Atrial rhythms
- Anatomy and physiology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not report specific data related to the position of cardiac monitor technician or telemetry technician. It did state that cardiovascular technologists and technicians in general held about 51,400 positions in healthcare facilities around the country in 2015. According to PayScale.com, most EKG monitor technicians earned between $21,041 and $39,913 in October 2016.
Certificate programs in telemetry technology prepare students for careers as cardiac monitor technicians. This program includes both classroom studies and clinical components to ready students to work in healthcare environments where they read EKG devices in order to monitor a patient's heart rhythms and detect abnormalities.