National EKG Certification Exam Information for Students

EKG technicians can take national certification exams after meeting certain education and/or work experience criteria. To learn more about the organizations that offer certification, along with certification qualifications and exam preparation, read on.

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National EKG Certification: An Overview

The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the National Association for Health Professionals (NAAHP) all offer EKG certification. Earning a professional credential in this field can help not only EKG technicians, but also other healthcare professionals who work with EKGs. Certification is often looked upon favorably by employers and can lead to career advancement.

Exam and Preparation

In most cases, certification applicants must pass a multiple-choice exam in order to obtain a professional credential. Depending on the organization, exams can be taken in-person or online; in-person exams may be offered at testing centers around the country. Students should be aware that payment of an exam fee is typically required.

When preparing for one of these exams, the test-taker should check out an organization's official website, which may include study materials in PDF format and self-assessment tests. Some third-party organizations and schools also offer review courses for specific credentialing exams.

How to Qualify for an Exam

In general, most certification applicants can take a required exam after completing an accredited educational program or gaining at least six months of on-the-job experience. However, requirements often vary among organizations.

For instance, the CCI offers four pathways toward certification. Students may take the CCI 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. On the other hand, the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians awards EKG certification to ASPT members who have six months of experience or have completed an approved EKG program.

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 August 2014 data, EKG technicians made a median hourly wage of $12.00.

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