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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Adhering to HIPAA regulations
Infection control practices
Scope of practice
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
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
Calculating the patient's heart rate
Determining the regularity of heart rhythm
Measuring EKG intervals and waveforms
Inspecting waveform characteristics
Recognizing pacemaker spikes
Identifying ischemia, injury, and infarction on EKG tracings
Taking appropriate action for life-threatening arrhythmias
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
Enrolling in an online EKG technician certification program is a transformative step in your career.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The CET examination consists of three domains:
Safety, Compliance, and Coordinated Patient Care
EKG Analysis and Interpretation.
You'll need to score 80% or higher to pass the EKG exam.
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 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 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.
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.