National EKG Certification Exam Information for Students

EKG technicians are healthcare workers who assist cardiologists and can gain national certification through several tests offered across the country upon successful completion of an EKG diploma or certificate program. The American Society of Phlebotomy Technician (ASPT), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and National Association for Health Professionals (NAAHP) are organizations that offer national certification exams.

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What is National EKG Certification?

The national certification exam is a voluntary examination EKG technicians may take in order to better their standing at their job or earn more pay and responsibility. Often, there are continuing education courses EKGs may take which lead up to the Nationally Registered title of Certified EKG Technician (NRCEKG) exam. This test is offered through the NAAHP, as well as other tests for certifying EKG professionals.

Exam and Preparation: Overview

The NRCEKG certification exam, the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians' certification exam and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International's Certified Cardiographic Technician exams are designed for physicians, nurse practitioners, cardiac monitor technicians, EKG technicians and others health care professionals in this field.

These tests are designed for those technicians employed in hospitals and available in many towns and cities by proctor. When preparing for one of these exams, the test-taker should check out the official websites of these organizations, which often include a free download of a study list and a manual that can be ordered by mail. The level of certification is often dependent on the student's test score.

Education Necessary for Certification

A high school diploma and on-the-job training is the typical requirement for a certification test; however, these requirements often change based on special circumstances. For instance, the CCI offers four pathways toward certification.

Students may take this certification exam if they are currently enrolled in a secondary education program, are currently working as an EKG technician, have completed a degree in a related scientific field or have completed two years of volunteer service in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

EKG Technician: Overview

EKG technicians assist cardiologists in a number of areas, including scheduling appointments, monitoring patients' heart rates, operating and testing equipment. These technicians specialize in monitoring a patient's heart through Holter monitoring, which involves placing electrodes to the patient's chest and attaching a portable monitor to the patient's belt.

These healthcare professionals may also help in maintaining supplies and setting up equipment for use. EKG technicians should have good communication skills and be able to work with and make patients comfortable. According to PayScale.com's March 2014 data, EKG technicians made a median hourly wage of $12.00.

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