Electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor technicians are primarily responsible for monitoring patients' heart statuses in a hospital environment. These technicians must be alert at all times to immediately inform doctors or physicians when irregularities arise in a patient's stats, though this work is more mentally intensive than physical, and EKG monitor technicians use electrocardiograms to monitor a patient's heart activity. Training is required to used this equipment, though the amount of training required varies by employer, and a high school diploma is often a minimum requirement for an entry-level position with on-the-job training. Some employers require certification, which can be acquired through a trade school or college.
The main task of an EKG technician is to monitor the electrocardiogram, and they may also have direct interaction with patients to attach leads for equipment to the patient's skin to obtain accurate monitoring results. Gloves and other protective clothing may be required when interacting with patients to prevent the spread of disease, and otherwise these technicians wear the hospital's assigned "uniform."
Maintaining proper functionality and cleanliness in the electrocardiogram is sometimes the EKG technician's responsibility, so some technical knowledge may be required to troubleshoot equipment when problems arise. The number of patients monitored by a single technician can vary greatly from just one to twenty or thirty at a time. Hours for this position also vary, as EKG monitoring is needed in hospitals on a round-the-clock basis.
Electrocardiogram (EKG) Monitor Technician Tasks
Watch heart rate monitors for abnormalities.
Report significant changes in patients' heart rate and arrhythmias to nursing staff.
Study patients' charts to determine their normal heart rhythm so abnormalities are detectable.