Cardiac Monitor Technician: Job Description & Career Info
Becoming a Cardiac Monitor Technician will require a high school diploma or GED, and either on-the-job training or a certificate program to prepare for the important job of monitoring heart rates of multiple patients and identifying abnormalities. As there are many different segments within the growing field of healthcare, Cardiac Monitor Technicians, also called Cardiac Surveillance Techs, have opportunities to move into a variety of different positions with additional training.
Cardiac Monitor Technician Career Definition
Cardiac Monitor Technicians are responsible for watching patients' heart rates and reporting important changes to the nursing staff; they often use equipment that tracks several patients simultaneously. They also help clean and maintain equipment and ensure batteries are charged and installed properly. Cardiac Monitor Techs may also perform electrocardiographs (EKGs), which read electrical impulses sent by the heart. Surveillance techs will typically work eight-hour shifts in hospital settings, and may be required to work evening, weekend, and holiday hours.
How to Become a Cardiac Monitor Technician
Education Required for a Career in Cardiac Monitoring
A career as a Cardiac Monitor Technician is a viable option for people who would like to work in healthcare but have limited time and money to spend on continued education. A Cardiac Monitor Technician needs a high school diploma, plus a postsecondary certificate or on-the-job training. There are a variety of program lengths offered through vocational schools, junior colleges, and hospitals across the country. There are different requirements depending on the employer, so it is wise for those looking for a cardiac monitoring career to speak with healthcare administrators in several of their top choices for employment to determine education needs.
Additional Skills of Cardiac Monitor Technicians
Cardiac Monitor Technicians need to be team players, take direction well, and have a positive attitude to work with the patients, nursing staff, and physicians. Techs also need organizational skills and the ability to multitask to keep track of a large number of patients. Typing skills are also necessary to maintain patient records.
Career and Economic Outlook for Cardiac Monitoring Techs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 29% job growth for all cardiovascular technology positions between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than average. It is likely that positions will increase for Cardiac Monitor Technicians as well, but these techs can significantly improve their marketability and income by learning other related procedures. The median salary for a Cardiac Monitor Technician was $31,049 in October 2013, according to Salary.com.
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