How to Pass the Certified EKG Technician Exam - MedCerts

Is Short-Term Online Career Training Right for You?

How to Pass the EKG Technician Certification (CET) Exam

EKG technicians are pivotal in administering cardiovascular tests, particularly the electrocardiogram (ECG). These tests provide essential insights into the heart's health. With an astounding 2.5 million projected job growth over the next ten years, the field of EKG technology promises a wealth of opportunities for professionals in the healthcare industry.This guide lays out the path to becoming a Certified EKG Technician, or CET. We'll cover everything you need to know when it comes to how to prepare for and pass the EKG certification exam.

    What Is the EKG Technician Certification?

    The EKG certification is a specialized credential designed to validate your competency and expertise. Achieving this certification demonstrates to employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform EKG tests accurately.

    Employers are emphasizing the importance of certification for EKG technicians more than ever. According to the 2020 Industry Outlook, 87% of employers now require or strongly encourage EKG certification.

    The NHA EKG certification program recognizes qualifying technicians as Nationally Certified Healthcare professionals. Certification means credentials to use with your name, including a certification ID card and a certificate.

    Wondering how to earn your CET certification? First, you must pass the Certified EKG Technician exam.

    Registration Requirements for the EKG Technician Certification Exam

    The NHA has established clear guidelines for the Certified EKG Technician (or CET certification exam). Here's what it takes to meet the eligibility requirements.

    Step 1 - Get a high school diploma or equivalent.

    All candidates must possess a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a General Education Development test (GED). Candidates not currently meeting this educational requirement may still be eligible for a Provisional Certification.

    Step 2 - Complete a training program.

    Candidates must successfully complete an EKG training program provided by an accredited or state-recognized institution or provider. Alternatively, candidates with formal medical services training in the same health field from any branch of the U.S. Military can fulfill the training program requirement.

    If the date of graduation or completion from the training program is five years or more before the application date, candidates must have at least one year of relevant supervised work experience.

    Step 3 - Gain live clinical experience performing EKGs.

    Within 180 days of passing the exam, each candidate must perform a minimum of ten EKGs on live patients.

    This requirement ensures that candidates have hands-on experience and practical skills in conducting EKG tests. Both are vital for the accurate and efficient performance of their duties.

    You can take this quiz to see if you meet the qualifications.

    EKG Technician Certification Exam Sections and Content

    You'll need to demonstrate fundamental knowledge for an EKG technician to pass the exam. This includes basic anatomy and physiology of the heart. It also contains cardiac testing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and basic life support emergencies.

    The exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions. These appear as task statements or knowledge statements that support job-specific tasks. Questions require both recall and critical thinking skills.

    You can take the two-hour exam at your school, a nearby PSI testing center, or through live remote proctoring at a location of your choice.

    The exam covers three primary domains:

    Domain 1: Safety, Compliance, and Coordinated Patient Care (32%)

    Topics include:

    • Adhering to HIPAA regulations

    • Infection control practices

    • Scope of practice

    • Ethical standards

    • Communication with patients and the healthcare team

    • Obtaining and interpreting patient vital signs

    • Patient instruction for stress testing and ambulatory monitoring

    • Utilization of electronic medical records

    • Recognizing signs of cardiopulmonary compromise

    Domain 2: EKG Acquisition (44%)

    Topics include:

    • EKG equipment maintenance

    • Verification of machine settings

    • Preparation of skin for electrode placement

    • Positioning patients for different cardiac tests

    • Applying electrodes and leads for various EKG tests

    • Identifying and resolving artifacts

    • Assisting in monitoring patient condition during stress testing

    Domain 3: EKG Analysis and Interpretation (24%)

    Topics include:

    • Calculating the patient's heart rate

    • Determining the regularity of heart rhythm

    • Measuring EKG intervals and waveforms

    • Inspecting waveform characteristics

    • Identifying arrhythmias

    • Recognizing pacemaker spikes

    • Identifying ischemia, injury, and infarction on EKG tracings

    • Taking appropriate action for life-threatening arrhythmias

    4 Steps to Completing the Certified EKG Technician Exam

    Note: If you're a MedCerts student, you won't have to worry about the exam fee of $117. It's included in your tuition.

    Application Process: To initiate the journey towards becoming a Certified EKG Technician (CET), start by creating a free NHA account online. You can easily submit your CET exam application through your account portal.

    1. Schedule Your Exam

    Once your application is approved, it's time to select the date and location for your exam. NHA allows you to choose between in-person testing at a nearby PSI testing center or the convenience of online testing.

    During this step, you'll be required to pay the CET exam cost of $177 (unless you're a MedCerts student—then you can skip this step!).

    2. Prepare Comprehensively

    Preparation is the key to success in the CET exam, and MedCerts is here to support you throughout the process. Access to valuable study materials, including study guides and practice tests, is available to build your confidence for the examination.

    3. Take the Exam

    The CET exam is a two-hour assessment. You can take the exam at your school or a nearby PSI testing center. You can also opt for live remote proctoring at a location of your choice, making it convenient for you.

    4. Swift Certification Results

    Once you complete the exam, NHA will promptly score your test. If you opt for an online exam, your certification results will be officially posted to your account page within two days. Cross your fingers and hope for an 80% because that's what you need to pass the exam.

    Set Yourself Up For Success: Enroll In An Online EKG Technician Certification Program

    Enrolling in an online EKG technician certification program is a transformative step in your career.

    MedCerts offers competitive tuition payments.

    Many courses demand large upfront payments. But MedCerts stands apart by providing an interest-free tuition financing option. This convenient payment plan allows you to pursue your EKG certification without facing immediate financial strain.

    It's easy to enroll.

    A high school diploma or equivalent, such as a General Education Development (GED) certificate, is the only prerequisite for enrollment.

    Make sure you have access to a reliable web browser and a stable internet connection. You'll need this to access the course materials and benefit from expert-led video-based training.

    All of your materials are included.

    MedCerts courses offer expert-led video-based training, comprehensive eBooks, and competency assessments to track your progress. Moreover, enrollment includes practice exams and covers the fee for the CET exam.

    EKG Technician Certification Exam FAQs

    How hard is the EKG certification test?

    As of 2021, the pass rate for the exam is 72%. So if you take the time to pay attention to your courses and stick to a study plan, you shouldn't have any trouble passing.

    How long does EKG certification take?

    When you register for a course like MedCerts, you can expect to spend 12 weeks preparing for the exam. The EKG exam is two hours long. Once you pass the exam, you must perform ten live EKGs on patients. Then, you'll earn your certification.

    What is on the EKG certification exam?

    The CET examination consists of three domains:

    • Safety, Compliance, and Coordinated Patient Care

    • EKG Acquisition

    • EKG Analysis and Interpretation.

    What is the passing score for the NHA EKG exam?

    You'll need to score 80% or higher to pass the EKG exam.

    What's the typical EKG technician salary?

    Cardiovascular Technician ($36,000)

    As a Cardiovascular Technician, you will assist physicians in diagnosing and treating heart-related conditions. Your responsibilities may include conducting EKG tests, monitoring patients during cardiac procedures, and assisting in cardiac catheterization. The average salary for Cardiovascular Technicians is around $36,000 per year.

    EKG Technician ($39,000)

    EKG Technicians specialize in administering electrocardiogram tests. They play a crucial role in detecting heart abnormalities and providing valuable information to physicians for diagnosis. The average certified electrocardiograph technician's salary is approximately $39,000 annually.

    ECG Technician ($48,000)

    ECG Technicians, also known as Electrocardiography Technicians, operate ECG equipment, interpret results, and assist in identifying heart conditions. ECG Technicians earn an average salary of about $48,000 per year.

    This Is Your Sign To Get Your CET Certification Online

    Earning your EKG technician certification offers the benefit of immediate employability. It also provides opportunities to advance into other positions. With the CET certification, you can kickstart your career and reap its benefits for years to come.

    Discover more course details and attainable job opportunities on our online Certified EKG Technician course page.

    Portrait of MedCerts Team
    Written by MedCerts Team
    Blog Posts Published By Our Team

    See all of the blog posts that the MedCerts team has published.

    Published on August 4, 2023