Becoming an EKG Technician in South Dakota
Anyone with obvious or potential heart problems will undergo testing after entering a hospital or other care facility. This testing is designed to uncover as much detail on the patient’s heart function as possible. To achieve this goal, doctors commonly order a procedure called an EKG or electrocardiograph.
After an electrocardiograph is ordered, the actual administration of this testing falls to an EKG technician. These techs are widely used, and they fill positions in most modern health facilities.
Want to know more about becoming an EKG technician in South Dakota? Keep reading to learn the main facts about regulations, training, salaries and job prospects for these specialized employees.
Regulations for EKG Technicians in South Dakota
EKG techs are generally allowed to work as unlicensed assistants in the U.S. healthcare industry. This means that the regulatory bar for these workers is not set as high as it is for doctors and nurses. However, it doesn’t mean that states don’t exert some degree of control over the rules governing EKG technicians. In fact, all states have at least some indirect rules for people with this job.
In South Dakota, the indirect work guidelines for EKG techs are set by the statewide Nursing Board. These guidelines determine when and where licensed, registered nurses can assign tasks to unlicensed personnel. The ranks of these personnel include everyone who administers EKG tests, regardless of their specific job title. In addition to assigning work for electrocardiograph technicians, nurses supervise them and take responsibility for their actions.
South Dakota Training Standards
No state agency in South Dakota has established training standards for people working as EKG technicians. In addition, no agency has established a certification process for EKG techs. With these facts in mind, you might think you can just fill out an application today and find work in a South Dakota facility. However, you may very well be wrong.
It’s true that some of the state’s healthcare facilities may hire completely inexperienced people and train them to give EKGs. But more often than not, you can expect hospitals and cardiac centers to vet you thoroughly. That includes checking your resume for any past experience in a healthcare-related job. In addition, some facilities may expect you to have gotten specific training, or even national certification, as an EKG technician.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of in-person EKG tech training programs in South Dakota. As an alternative, residents of the state can turn to online programs available to anyone with web access. Some examples of potential online training sources include:
- University of South Dakota/Health Ed Today – Health Ed Today is an online provider specializing in health-related education services. In collaboration with USD, they offer an extensive, 230-hour program for EKG technicians. This program covers every area of knowledge needed to perform a tech’s job.
- The American Society of Electrocardiogram Technicians – This organization offers a Certified Electrocardiography Technician program. The program provides the training background required to meet national certifications standards.
- ECG Academy – This organization provides multiple levels of training in electrocardiography. That includes courses for beginners, as well as advanced and masterclass courses.
Salary Expectations for South Dakota EKG Techs
When you first get hired as an EKG technician in South Dakota, you will probably make an annual salary in the low-$20,000s. With time and experience, you may reach the average pay for all of the state’s techs, which is just under $41,000 a year. And with luck, you will eventually reach the upper echelon of income in South Dakota, which is in the mid-$60,000s.
The Shape of the Future Job Market
All current information points to a high-growth job market for EKG technicians in the U.S. In 2019, there were about 131,700 people working as EKG techs or in related occupations. By 2029, this number is expected to swell to more than 147,000. While that may not seem like much, it’s actually a big increase for any employment sector.