How to Become an EKG Technician in Idaho
When patients have potential or known heart problems, they often undergo cardiac testing in hospitals and specialized facilities. Among the battery of common tests is the EKG (electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph). EKGs are administered because they uncover crucial details of a patient’s heart function.
The specialist assistants who set up and operate electrocardiogram equipment are widely known as EKG technicians. (People with the same responsibilities may also have other titles.) In today’s healthcare system, these techs are crucial players. As a result, they tend to enjoy both generous salaries and healthy labor markets. Here’s the scoop on what you need to know if you’re thinking about becoming an EKG tech in Idaho.
Idaho’s EKG Technician Regulations
Everyone working in the healthcare field is regulated in some way. One of the most typical forms of regulation is licensing. However, governments can also provide other kinds of legally binding guidelines. Like the vast majority of other states, Idaho does not subject EKG technicians to licensing regulations. Instead, other means are used to guide conditions for these workers.
The relevant guidelines for EKG techs are under the jurisdiction of Idaho’s Board of Nursing. These guidelines allow the state’s registered nurses to shift or delegate some of their responsibilities to unlicensed assistants. These personnel don’t set up their own work routines or requirements. At all times, they follow nurses’ instructions and work in a supervised environment. As unlicensed personnel, EKG technicians are subject to all of these rules.
No Licensing Is Not the Same as No Training
While free from licensing requirements, Idaho EKG techs still bear a professional responsibility to learn their craft and hone their skills. This is critical to note, because you actually need to know quite a lot to do your job well. First, you must learn how to operate an electrocardiogram machine. You must also:
- Know basic anatomy and physiology
- Understand how a healthy heart works
- Learn the telltale signs of certain kinds of heart malfunctions
- Develop the ability to interact with patients
- Understand the terminology commonly used in healthcare facilities
- Follow a number of ethical standards
Idaho’s Options for EKG Technician Training
Where can you get trained as an EKG tech in Idaho? Institutions located in the state offer a variety of programs. Options you may want to add to your list include:
- Idaho State University’s Basic EKG Interpretation Course – This online ISU course offers a solid introduction to the concepts used by EKG technicians. It provides you with 12 hours of instruction. Once the course begins, you can work at your own pace within a 30-day window.
- College of Eastern Idaho’s EKG Technician Program – This program offers a more detailed level of instruction. It includes a thorough ground in the use of EKG machines. It also covers a broad array of supporting topics related to the profession.
- North Idaho College’s EKG Technician Certification Program – This long-format program provides you with a full 50 hours of instruction. During this time, you will be introduced to all aspects of an EKG tech’s responsibilities. Graduates are ready to take any of several national certification exams.
What Can You Make as an EKG Tech in Idaho?
The average yearly income for Idaho’s EKG specialists is $38,000. That’s a bit below the national norm, but still quite sizable compared to the state’s cost of living. When you score your first job, you’ll probably make somewhere between the low- and mid-$20,000s. But in time, you may end up doubling or even tripling that starting salary.
Job Prospects for the Next Few Years
No one wants to struggle to find employment after training for a new career. With that in mind, you should know that job prospects for EKG techs are growing, not shrinking. In fact, until at least 2030, new positions in this field will increase at an unusually high rate.