A Health Career: How to Become a Technician In EKG, Phlebotomy
By Space Coast Daily // February 1, 2021
Do you love helping people in need and want to pursue a career in the medical field? However, suppose you are reluctant to follow the traditional professions and want to explore something different.
In that case, phlebotomy and EKG technicians can be a suitable option. Although the job responsibilities of the two are similar, they are slightly different.
EKG or Electrocardiogram technicians are responsible for conducting blood tests to help physicians identify and treat patients’ cardiovascular problems.
On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians are accountable for drawing patients’ blood and bandaging it afterward. They are also responsible for noting oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature, and pulses. Below is a brief overview of how to become an EKG or Phlebotomy technician:
Below is a brief description of the educational criteria to become an EKG technician:
Acquire a High School Diploma
If you want to pursue a career as an EKG technician, you must have a high school diploma. Earning a bachelor’s or associate degree can help you advance in your career. Be mindful that whatever program you are enrolling yourself into must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Most healthcare facilities require an associate degree for an entry-level job for this position.
Gain On-Job Training
Although gaining experience in the healthcare industry is vital, the main road to becoming an EKG technician requires students to complete on-job training. Most training programs are four to six weeks long, and an EKG supervisor or cardiologist is in charge of this training. Also, many associate programs include hands-on training apart from theoretical learning.
After gaining practical experience, you should obtain professional certification. There are two main types of certificates that you can choose from to stand out to recruiters. These include Certified EKG technicians and ECG technicians.
If you wish to pursue a career as an EKG technician, you must be looking for job satisfaction and the pay rate. Although salary depends on location and experience, an EKG technician salary is about $31,000 per year.
Following skills are must for becoming an EKG technician:
Pay Attention to Details
Being an EKG technician, you should be attentive to every minute detail to observe the medical process. You will be assessing patients’ tests, so you must be vigilant in your observations. If you record any severe abnormality in blood tests, you should inform the physician and follow medical protocols.
You will be interacting with hospital personnel and patients all day, so you must have good communication skills as an EKG technician. You will be communicating the test results to the physician, patients, and their families.
Since an EKG technicians’ work responsibilities are demanding, you need to be on your feet for several hours. You will be running in and out of the patients’ room and machine area.
You will be using computers and advanced technological equipment such as an electrocardiogram, so you should have technical skills. These technical skills can help you in performing tests and troubleshooting problems.
The following is a step by step guide on how to become a phlebotomy technician:
Complete High School
For a career in phlebotomy, students should first complete their high school or general education diploma. Some schools even offer phlebotomy programs; in that case, students should choose science, health, psychology as their elective courses since these will help in further studies.
Enroll In A Phlebotomy Program
The next step is to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy program.
Before joining this program, students need to meet some prerequisites, which includes:
■ A certain GPA during high school
■ Immunization and vaccination records
■ Background research
■ Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
■ Many vocational and community colleges offer phlebotomy programs, which comprise anatomy, physiology, and medical studies. Also, students need to participate in laboratory work and take in-person classes actively. Typically, it takes about a year to finish this program.
Obtain Professional Certification
Since most employers don’t hire individuals unless certified, earning a certification is a must. The requisites differ for each state; however, passing an exam is necessary to acquire phlebotomy certification. Some of the most common certifications are:
■ Phlebotomy Technician
■ Registered Phlebotomy Technician
■ Certified Phlebotomy Technician
Also, don’t forget to maintain your certification after every three years.
An individual must possess an exceptional skill set to qualify for the position of a phlebotomy technician. Fast-moving healthcare system requires individuals that have:
Although it may be just a routine task for you to draw blood, this is not the case with everyone. Some people out there fear blood and get anxious when a phlebotomist takes out a blood sample. Therefore, professionals should be compassionate and understanding during the interaction with people. A brief act of kindness can put your patients at ease and help in overcoming their nervousness.
Attention To Details
Except for drawing blood, a phlebotomist’s job responsibilities include checking the appropriate quantity, labeling each sample, and entering the system’s details. For this reason, individuals must be highly observant and pay attention to even the tiniest bit.
Work Under Pressure
Inserting a needle might get complicated, especially if you find yourself under the parents’ watchful stares. In situations like these, the phlebotomist should have the ability to work under pressure and not mess up their jobs.
The recent developments in technology have played a vital role in improving the standards of living. On top of that, the healthcare industry’s technical breakthroughs have increased the demands for these professionals. The US Bureau of Labor & Statistics projects the growth of healthcare occupations by 15%. The diagnosis of various diseases will be more straightforward with modern ways of EKG monitoring and blood sampling.