Monitor Technician Certification and Certificate Program Info

The primary responsibility of a monitor technician is to keep a watch over the heart rhythms of patients in medical facilities and alert physicians of any changes. Individuals interested in the career can enroll in a Monitor Technician Certificate program.

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Monitor Technician Certificate

Monitor Technician Certificate programs are offered through community colleges and health science centers. They can take as little as four days or as long as 12 weeks to complete. Such programs teach students how to read cardiac monitors and recognize any irregular heart activity or arrhythmia.

Students enrolled in a monitor technician certificate program typically study cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, as well as medical terminology relating to the heart and normal sinus rhythm. They also learn to recognize various types of arrhythmia, to understand their clinical implications, and to report findings immediately to medical personnel.

Education Prerequisites

Monitor Technician Certificate programs are open to individuals from various educational and vocational backgrounds. Students who have education no higher than a high school diploma are eligible to apply and learn the basic concepts of the position. Certificate programs are also available for licensed vocational nurse (LVNs) and other medical professionals who are interested in learning more about recognizing arrhythmia and monitoring a patient's heart activity.

Program Coursework

The courses included in monitor technician programs are often hands-on. Students learn theory in classroom lectures and put it into practice by reading monitors and analyzing ECG (electrocardiography) strips. Common courses include:

  • Introduction to cardiac rhythms
  • Anatomy and physiology of cardiac muscle
  • Reading cardiac monitors
  • Arrhythmia recognition
  • ECG recognition
  • Pacemaker monitoring
  • Communicating with nurses
  • Rhythm strip analysis

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Monitor technicians work in general and surgical hospitals, as well as large private and public clinics. They may be responsible for overseeing up to 30 monitors at one time. According to PayScale.com, an EKG monitor technician working in November 2013 earned a mean wage of $28,403 per year.

Certification and Continuing Education

The American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine offers certification for monitor technicians. While certification is not required, it can be useful to jobseekers who are interested in proving their credentials. Individuals can gain certification by passing the Cardiac Monitor Technician Board Exam.

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