How to Become an EKG Technician in Kansas
The EKG test measures the electrical signals given off by the human heart as it beats. As well as being a way of diagnosing heart conditions, an EKG helps determine the heart health of patients about to undergo surgery, an important safety practice. As allied health care workers, EKG technicians work closely with doctors, nurses and other specialists and are in high demand.
Requirements for Becoming an EKG Technician in Kansas
The state of Kansas does not directly register or certify EKG technicians, but healthcare employers almost always require that applicants are certified by one of the national certifying bodies, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the National Center for Competency Testing or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians. These certifications all require taking an exam and proving that you’ve completed an accredited training course or a year’s appropriately supervised work experience. You must also have conducted at least 10 EKG exams on live patients.
Training courses have their own requirements—you must have a high school or general equivalency diploma and be able to pay the tuition fee, although financial aid is often available. As many courses require students to learn in real clinical settings, a criminal background check and a drug screening are also sometimes required.
Training Courses for EKG Technicians in Kansas
EKG technician training is available in a variety of in-person and online formats throughout Kansas. Here are a few examples:
- Johnson County Community College is based in Overland Park. After completion of a 60-hour lecture and lab-based program, students spend three days in a clinical setting at Olathe Medical Center. The course trains in all aspects of the job as well as infection control and handling sensitive patient data, and prepares students to take a national certifying exam.
- Allied Health Career Training is based in Wichita and offers a 70-hour course combining didactic and skills-based learning. The course prepares students to take the NHA certification exam. Students often take this course in conjunction with a phlebotomy certification, as this increases appeal to potential employers.
- Mid-American Nursing and Allied Health Institute in Merriam offers a 40-hour course that meets on Fridays over five weeks. The course includes both classroom and practical education and includes the required EKG experience needed to take the NHA certifying exam.
Certification for EKG Technicians in Kansas
While the various national certifications are all widely recognized, the NHA certification is the most well-known. It’s advisable to check what certification your preferred employer is looking for. The certification exams all carry a small fee, but this is sometimes covered in the cost of your training course. People who have trained in EKG specialties such as stress testing and Holter monitoring have an advantage in the job market. People who are also trained and certified in another allied health skill such as phlebotomy or medical record keeping are also particularly desirable to employers.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
As our population ages, people in allied healthcare roles find themselves in particular demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, EKG technicians and similar job roles will see a national increase of 12 percent by 2029, which is much faster than average job growth across all occupations.
In Kansas, the average hourly wage for EKG techs is $27.29, with an average annual salary of $56,760. Experience in the field and having multiple qualified skills can increase hireability and compensation.
Working as an EKG Technician in Kansas
Hospitals, doctor’s offices and diagnostic centers for employment and insurance often hire EKG technicians. In healthcare, the standard work week is not the default, and you may find that your job requires you to work evenings, weekends or even overnight. Strong attention to detail and physical stamina are a must, and meticulous and reliable employees will find the field offers reasonable compensation and job security.