Schools with Heart Monitor Technician Programs
Heart monitor technicians evaluate, test and diagnose patients with cardiac problems in hospitals, medical offices and diagnostic facilities. Sometimes, technicians provide advice to physicians about potential treatment plans for patients. Heart monitor technicians do not need to be licensed medical professionals, but are usually required to be certified by an accrediting agency. Certificate and associate degree programs are available in the field.
How to Select a Heart Monitor Technician School
When selecting a heart monitor technician school, individuals should consider whether the program's curriculum is accredited to ensure the education meets industry standards. Accrediting organizations include the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT), which administers an Electrocardiograph Technician Certification examination, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP). Each of these accrediting agencies administers a certification exam that could be required by the state.
Prior to choosing a heart monitor technician program, individuals should consider whether they would like to earn a certificate or associate degree in the field. Associate degree programs typically require two years of study in both electrocardiography (EKG) and general studies. Some schools require students to obtain CPR certification and liability insurance prior to pursuing the degree. Certificate programs generally take less time to complete, though some schools do not provide college credit for certificate courses.
Prospective students should also determine whether credits earned in the program are transferable to a 4-year university. Because of the uniqueness of heart monitoring technician programs, Associate of Applied Science degrees might not offer transferability. Individuals potentially interested in obtaining a bachelor's degree should ensure that course credit earned in an associate degree program can be applied toward the bachelor's degree requirements.
When choosing among several programs, individuals might also want to consider available scheduling. Some schools provide night courses to accommodate students who work during the day. Online programs offer flexible schedules, but usually require in-person clinics or labs.
Potential applicants should investigate the amount of hands-on lab experience a program provides. Moreover, as medical equipment is constantly evolving, ensuring the types and brands of technology used in the program is up-to-date and standard in the industry could be important. Extensive experience using current electrocardiographic equipment and technologies might better prepare students to work as a heart monitor technician.
Heart Monitor Technician Program Overview
Heart Monitor Technician Certificate Programs
Heart monitor technician certificate programs require approximately 30-50 credit hours. Topics covered include anatomy and physiology, EKG and stress test technology, basic life support procedures and medical terminology. Students learn patient safety and legal aspects of medical care. Some programs include clinical rotations or internships for students to gain experience using EKG equipment, while others provide labs for this purpose.
Associate Degree in Electrocardiography
In addition to coursework specific to heart monitoring and professional studies, students in an associate degree program must complete general education coursework. Some electrocardiography degree programs are combined with phlebotomy or ultrasound studies, allowing graduates earning a degree in both fields. Field-specific coursework includes EKG procedures, phlebotomy, hematology, cardiac rehabilitation and pharmacology. Most associate's degree programs also require completion of an internship at a hospital or other healthcare facility.
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