EKG technicians monitor the electrical impulses of the heart using special equipment and certain medical techniques. They usually require only on the job training provided by their employers.
EKG Technician: Education and Training Requirements
Most cardiovascular technicians require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but EKG technicians only need a four- to six-week training program offered by their employers. Their minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED.
Some EKG technicians may opt to complete a one-year certification program, which is equivalent to an on-the-job training. This may also be because some employers specify that they are looking for technicians who have at least completed a certification program. High school students who want to become EKG technicians should take more health- and science-related courses, such as health, physiology, anatomy, math, and basic science.
Programs for EKG technicians must follow the standards set by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT).
EKG technician programs teach students how to operate EKG machines and set up Holter monitors to aid in the cardiovascular diagnostic process. They also help students understand the electrocardiogram results. The program duration varies from one school to the next, although they usually require 50 hours of classroom lectures and clinical training.
Top Schools by Enrollment
According to School Choices, the top schools offering EKG technician programs based on total enrollment include the following:
- City College of San Francisco in San Francisco, California
- Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California
- Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA
- Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Michigan
- Hacienda La Puente Unified School District – Adult Education in City Of Industry, California
Online Schools for EKG Technicians
Online EKG technician training programs are available, although they are very rare. Students who want to complete their program online can choose between EKG diploma programs and medical assisting certificate programs with a focus on EKG.
Accredited online EKG training programs involve hands-on training. Some schools instruct students to work with a local healthcare provider and arrange for their hands-on experience. Others promote hybrid programs that involve online classes and on-campus clinical classes.
Those who want to take EKG technician classes should make sure that the programs are accredited. When they graduate from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or a similar authority, they can earn certifications as Nationally Registered EKG Technicians or National Certified ECG Technicians. These are among the top noted certifications among EKG professionals. Programs, online or offline, that do not include clinical periods are usually not accredited by the authorities.