Training programs for cardiographic technicians, also known as echocardiographic (EKG) technicians, are available at community colleges and technical schools. Graduates can pursue professional certification as a Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) by passing an exam.
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EKG Technician Certificate
Applicants to certificate programs must have a high school diploma. Some schools suggest that interested students meet with an adviser or take part in a program orientation prior to applying. Applicants usually need to have completed a prerequisite course in anatomy and physiology. Additionally, prior to starting a cardiographic certificate program, accepted students may need to become CPR-certified and obtain student liability insurance. Students in a cardiographic technology program take part in skills labs where they learn to monitor a patient's heart for abnormalities, performing such procedures as telemetry tests and 12-lead echocardiograms. They are also typically required to complete a hands-on practicum and take classes covering:
- Healthcare terms
- The human cardiovascular system
- Patient care techniques
- Basic computer skills
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), from 2014 to 2024, the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians was predicted to grow by 22% (much faster than average). The BLS reported the median annual salary earned by cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $54,880 in May 2015. However, PayScale.com noted in January 2016 that most EKG technicians working in the US earn between $20,599 and $42,342 per year.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Cardiographic technicians may decide to become cardiographic technologists and continue their education to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Cardiac Technology. They may also decide to become Certified Cardiographic Technicians (CCTs). To do this, they must pass a multiple-choice exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (www.cci-online.org). In order to maintain their credentials, a CCT must complete continuing education courses or retest every three years. They must also pay maintenance dues and comply with the organization's code of ethics.
Students who want to become cardiographic technicians may get the necessary training from either a certificate program in cardiac technology or a certificate program in cardiovascular technology.