Becoming an EKG Technician in Vermont
In the 21st century, U.S. healthcare places a heavy emphasis on high-tech diagnostic procedures. In the field of cardiac care, one of the most widely used procedures is the electrocardiogram, or EKG. Using electrical signals detected from various parts of the body, an EKG builds up a highly detailed picture of a patient’s heart health.
Wherever there are electrocardiogram machines, there are technicians assigned to operate them. In Vermont and elsewhere, EKG technicians help form the day-to-day staffs of both specialized care facilities and hospitals. There are some compelling reasons to work as an EKG tech, including decent pay and frequent job openings. To learn more about the world of technicians living in Vermont, just keep reading this factual guide.
How Does Vermont Regulate EKG Technicians?
If you want to take certain types of healthcare jobs, you need to get licensed and follow other state-mandated procedures. For example, doctors and nurses must meet these kinds of requirements. However, at a level below these licensed professionals there are plenty of unlicensed assistants at work. These assistants don’t have the authority to work independently. Still, they perform a vast range of necessary jobs and tasks.
Like states all over the U.S., Vermont counts EKG technicians in the category of unlicensed assistants. These technicians follow the lead of licensed registered nurses, or RNs. Doctors decide which patients need an electrocardiogram then pass their instructions on to RNs. In turn, RNs tell EKG techs to perform the actual testing procedures.
What Do EKG Techs Need to Know?
All working EKG technicians rely on a range of skills to do their jobs. Examples of these essential skills include:
- Developing background knowledge in anatomy and physiology
- Learning the specific details of normal heart function
- Using a modern, 12-lead EKG machine
- Knowing how to read the output of an EKG machine
- Knowing when to alert doctors and nurses to potential problems
Even today, some Vermont employers may allow you to gain these skills through on-the-job training. In these circumstances, all you may need to do to get hired is to show proof that you graduated from high school or have a GED. However, other employers may expect you to have some previous experience. This experience may be in a related field of healthcare. Or as an alternative, you may choose to seek out EKG technician training.
What Are Your Training Options?
Vermont does not have an abundance of in-state training options for aspiring EKG techs. The most prominent provider is Vermont Technical College in Williston. Vermont Tech offers a largely Internet-based course that gives you easy access to all class materials.
Other online providers are based outside of Vermont. Your options here include:
- MedCerts – Online provider MedCerts offers 11 weeks of training. You’ll spend four of these weeks working on your EKG skills. The rest of the program is dedicated to the development of important background skills.
- Phlebotomy Career Training – Enrollees in this organization’s online program get trained as both EKG techs and cardiac monitor techs. Before completing the program, you must supplement your classwork with 40 hours of hands-on EKG practice under direct supervision.
Salary Range for Vermont EKG Techs
When you first start working as a Vermont EKG tech, you will probably make a salary somewhere in the low- to mid-$20,000s. In time, your annual income will come closer to the state average of $41,000. Vermont’s best-paid EKG specialists make salaries in the upper $60,000s.
Solid Employment Opportunities Are Likely
Like much of the healthcare industry, the market for EKG technicians is on the upswing. Available jobs are expected to grow at a rapid pace until at least the end of this decade. If you get the training you need and become an asset in the workplace, your prospects for job stability are excellent.