Become an EKG Technician in New Mexico
Are you looking for a career helping others that’s rewarding and doesn’t require lengthy schooling? Are you interested in healthcare and hate the thought of sitting at a desk all day? Consider becoming anEKG technician.
In this role, you’ll work closely with doctors and nurses. You’ll be specially trained to run cardiovascular tests including the electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that can provide important information on heart health. You’ll explain procedures to patients, operate and maintain equipment and provide test results to doctors.
EKG Technician Requirements in New Mexico
A high school diploma or the equivalent is almost always required as a prerequisite to enrolling in an EKG training program, including those in New Mexico. Certificate programs can usually be completed in less than a year.
To work as an EKG tech, you should be a detail-oriented person with good communication skills and good hand-eye coordination. You may be expected to pass a drug test or a criminal background check or both.
Training Programs to Become a New Mexico EKG Technician
Training programs for New Mexico EKG technicians typically offer instruction in a classroom setting along with hands-on experience. Students may learn subjects such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical ethics, lead placement and EKG interpretation.
Examples of EKG technician training programs in the state include:
- Dona Ana Community College. Located in La Cruces, NM, this community college offers an Electrocardiogram Technician course that can be completed in one semester. Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology is a prerequisite of the course. Students learn to connect leads to a patient and operate an EKG machine. Upon completion of the program, they are prepared to take the certification exam through National Healthcareer Association.
- Universal Health Training Institute. This EKG technician program in Albuquerque gives students training on operating and adjusting EKG heart monitors and understanding results. Training also includes Holter monitoring and stress testing.
Do EKG Technicians Need Certification in New Mexico?
Most employers prefer candidates who have passed a national certification exam, even though certification isn’t a requirement of the state of New Mexico. Completing a formal training program and passing a certification exam is a way to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the field.
Certification options include:
- Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) exam, which is offered through Cardiovascular Credentialing International
- Certified EKG Technician (CET) exam, offered through the National Healthcareer Assocation
EKG Technicians Salary and Employment Outlook in New Mexico
Your earnings as a New Mexico EKG technician can vary based on your training, experience and location. The average EKG technician earned $42,509 per year as of August 2020, according to Salary.com. Annual pay ranges between $35,819 and $56,234.
Jobs in healthcare are usually in high demand, and EKG technicians are no exception. CareerOneStop reports that jobs in this field are projected to grow approximately 7 percent between 2018 and 2028 across the United States. In New Mexico, job growth for EKG technicians is expected to grow approximately 8 percent between 2016 and 2026.
Working as an EKG Technician in New Mexico
As an EKG technician, you’ll work closely with patients. You’ll need to be compassionate and attentive to any questions or concerns they may have. Good listening skills and good communications skills are also important for EKG techs. In some settings, you may be required to stand for long periods of time, or you may have to help turn patients who have mobility issues, so good physical stamina can be very helpful for this career.
The largest number of EKG technicians work in hospitals, but you may also find opportunities in cardiologists’ offices, diagnostic facilities or outpatient centers. Some settings may require working nights and weekends. Your skills will be in demand all over the state of New Mexico, especially in cities such as Albuquerque and Las Cruces.