How to Become an EKG Technician in Maine
Electrocardiographs, or EKGs, are procedures that use electrical activity to monitor the health of the human heart. You’ll see these procedures performed everywhere from surgical centers and hospitals to cardiac care facilities. In all of these settings, personnel called EKG technicians play a central role in recording electrocardiographs.
Want to learn how to work as an EKG technician in Maine? This brief article will help you understand the state’s requirements for these medical workers. It will also give you tips on where to get the training needed to perform EKG procedures.
Guidelines for Maine EKG Technicians
To work legally as an EKG tech in Maine, you must follow the state’s guidelines for this employment category. One important thing to know is that Maine doesn’t require you to get a license to do your job. Why is this true? EKG technicians don’t carry the same authority as nurses or doctors. They can’t decide who needs an electrocardiograph. They also can’t decide when to administer an electrocardiograph.
Who makes these decisions? As a rule, doctors determine when an EKG test is needed, then pass this information on to nurses. Nurses then relay doctors’ orders to electrocardiograph technicians. Since these techs only work in conditions established by licensed medical professionals, they don’t need to have licenses themselves. Like many states, Maine classifies EKG technicians and others working in similar circumstances as unlicensed assistive personnel.
What Are Maine’s Training Standards?
In addition to lacking statewide licensing for EKG techs, Maine lacks a statewide training standard for these workers. Technically, all you need to apply for an open job is to be 18 years or older and show proof of a high school-level education. This minimum standard may actually get you in the door at some of Maine’s medical facilities. However, it’s a good idea to expect more rigorous employment standards.
Why? Some facilities will only give you serious consideration if you have some sort of previous healthcare-related experience. You can get this experience on the job while working in a hospital or other facility. Or, as a substitute for this kind of background, you can sign up for training program for EKG technicians.
Where to Seek EKG Technician Training
Some states don’t provide many options for in-person EKG tech training. For better or worse, that’s the case in Maine. However, with today’s widespread Internet availability, you can always find training programs online. Your choices for online training include organizations such as:
- Northeast Technical Institute – This is Maine’s major in-state option for EKG tech training. It combines this training with the skills needed to work as a blood-draw specialist or phlebotomist. NTI has locations in Scarborough, Bangor and Auburn.
- National Association of Health Careers and Education – NAHCE offers two online, EKG-related courses. The first course focuses on the ins and outs of electrocardiography. The second provides supporting education on the workings of the cardiovascular system. Graduates of these courses can sit for a national certification test.
- ACLS Training Center – This online training source offers a program that covers two topics. The main course covers the steps needed to perform an electrocardiograph procedure. In addition, you can learn how to interpret heartbeat irregularities, or arrythmias.
What Can You Earn as a Maine EKG Technician?
The median or average yearly income for an EKG tech in Maine is about $37,000. You can expect to start out making a few thousand dollars less. However, in time, you may join those top-tier Maine techs who make more than $48,000 a year.
Market Predictions for EKG Techs
It’s impossible to predict exactly how future job markets will look anywhere in the U.S. However, federal researchers can and do make rough estimates. The latest projections show a sustained period of robust growth for EKG technicians. That’s an encouraging sign for anyone just getting their career underway.