EKG monitor technicians use EKG equipment to record and monitor a patient's heart rate. These recordings are used by physicians to diagnose heart conditions and other medical issues. Conducting stress tests and attaching portable EKG machines to patients are duties performed by EKG monitor technicians. EKG monitor technicians should have excellent patient care skills and be able to clearly explain heart rate monitoring procedures.
Complete four to six weeks of on-the-job training to become an EKG monitor technician. You will learn how to attach electrodes to patients to record heart rate, how to operate an EKG machine and how to print out the results. Prior experience working in the health care field as a nurse's aide or assistant may be required by some employers.
Complete a certificate program offered by a community college, trade school or medical training program if you do not have prior experience in the health care field or cannot find on-the-job training. A certificate program provides hands-on training using EKG equipment, as well as training in patient care, medical records and medical terminology.
Complete a two-year degree program to become an EKG technologist. In addition to learning how to use EKG equipment, you will also learn how to conduct Holter monitoring and stress testing. Holter monitoring involves prolonged monitoring of patients using a portable EKG machine. Training for Holter monitoring typically takes 12 to 24 months, depending on the scope of the program. Stress tests involve recording and monitoring patients heart rates as they run or walk on a treadmill. Additional training in creating base line readings and recording blood pressure are provided.
Continue your education by attending workshops and lectures provided by your employer or by complete additional training through a training or college degree program to advance in your career.
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen as this occupation requires you to stand for long periods of time while recording scientific results and caring for patients.