Issued by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the Certified EKG Technician (CET) is a nationally accredited designation that allows you to seek part-time or full-time employment in a profession that is highly flexible, and definitely in demand. Once you pass the CET exam, you’re qualified to handle a variety of tasks, including EKG setup and performance, patient preparation for Holter or ambulatory monitoring and stress tests, recognition of cardiac rhythms, and reporting to physicians.
For those looking to start or continue a career in healthcare, there are a variety of good reasons for becoming an EKG Technician. Today we’ll discuss six of them. But first, let’s define exactly what an EKG Technician does daily.
A Quick EKG Technician Job Description
As the name suggests, an EKG/ECG (EKG and ECG are interchangeable, and refer to an electrocardiogram) Technician’s primary duty is testing to measure the electrical activity of a heartbeat. Performing electrocardiograms is a vital aspect of patient care since these tests help detect irregularities that have the potential to result in a heart attack or heart disease. Along with performing the procedure, an EKG Technician is also tasked with explaining procedures to patients, monitoring blood pressure, and positioning patients.
In a nutshell, receiving your EKG Technician certification means you:
Appreciate the role of electrocardiography in the healthcare setting
Understand the responsibilities of patient care and monitoring, safety, and compliance
Gain an understanding of the use of appropriate electrocardiography equipment and supplies
Understand diagnostic cardiac testing to include electrocardiograms, Holter monitors, and stress tests
Recognize arrhythmias and artifacts with appropriate responses required
Though there’s a little more to it than that, this description should give you a good idea of the EKG Technician’s role. Now let’s look at six good reasons for becoming one.
Reason #1: You’ll Be Helping Others
If you’ve entered the healthcare industry or you’re considering doing so, then you’re probably interested in helping people daily. Though EKG testing is non-invasive, it’s critical since it has the potential to save lives. While this cardiology test has become somewhat routine, it doesn’t change the fact that administering the test provides essential data for doctors to effectively treat the patients under your care. So if you’re a people person, and enjoy making a true difference in patients’ lives, then this is the most obvious (and most compelling) reason to become an EKG Technician.
Reason #2: Get Started Without Certification
An EKG Technician is one of the few jobs in healthcare you can start without already having the certification secured. Of course, your employer will expect you to get certified, but hospitals, physician’s offices, and other facilities are allowed to hire you beforehand. While this allows you to get a nice head start on your career, it also gives you a paycheck, which will help you pay for your certification training and exam.
Reason #3: You Can Get EKG-Certified Quickly
If you’re able to tackle your EKG Technician courses full-time, you can be certified within three months. However, if you’re only able to take courses part-time (because you’re already working as an EKG Technician or in another healthcare role), some weekend programs allow you to become certified within six months. When it comes to getting certified, you have a ton of flexibility, and can proceed at your desired pace.
Reason #4: Work Within the Industry Debt-Free
While there’s a cost associated with obtaining your EKG Technician certification, it pales in comparison to getting a four-year college degree. This is certainly appealing to those who can’t afford to work toward a traditional degree, or those hoping to avoid living in debt for the foreseeable future. If you can’t afford to get certified out-of-pocket, many programs can help students find private loans, qualify for scholarships, or offer interest-free payment plans.
Reason #5: The EKG Technician Job Market Is Growing
Like many jobs within the healthcare industry, the market for EKG Technicians is growing at a rapid pace, and with no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare-related employment is expected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2028. Much of this growth is attributed to the aging Baby Boomer population, but no matter the reason the EKG Technician role provides serious job security.
Reason #6: You’ll Find Career Advancement Opportunities
Like with any job, upward mobility matters. Whether you want to move up within your organization or head out to find greener pastures elsewhere, the EKG Technician certification can serve as a stepping stone to a new role, and higher pay. One such role is as a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), a certification that pairs perfectly with your existing one. (In fact, some job candidates get these certifications together to give their career a much-needed boost.) In some cases, Certified EKG Technicians move on to become Medical Assistants or Patient Care Technicians.
EKG Technician Certification: What Are You Waiting For?
Though the EKG Technician role is an entry-level one, hopefully, this post has provided compelling reasons why it’s a great starting point for your career in healthcare, as well as a launching pad to move into other positions. We’ve only given you six reasons, but we promise there are many, many more. Ultimately, having the EKG Technician certification allows you to be employable immediately, and will pay dividends for years to come.