If you’re wondering what a monitor tech does, you’re not alone. Many people are curious about this position, which is why we’ve put together a brief overview. Monitor techs are responsible for monitoring patients’ vital signs and providing general care. They also keep an eye on any medical equipment the patients are using.
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A monitor tech, or EKG monitor tech, is a medical professional who uses specialized equipment to monitor the heart activity of patients. The monitor tech is responsible for attaching the patient to the monitoring equipment, checking the equipment for proper functioning, and interpreting the results of the monitoring.
A monitor technician is a health care professional who performs electrocardiogram (EKG) testing and provides basic patient care. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor.
The duties of a monitor technician include hooking up patients to EKG machines, performing stress tests, monitoring patients during procedures, and providing basic patient care. They also keep track of vital signs and record any changes in the patient’s condition.
In some cases, monitor technicians may also be responsible for setting up pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). They must have a thorough understanding of electrical safety in order to minimize the risk of injury to themselves and their patients.
How to Become a Monitor Technician
Monitor technicians, also called cardiac monitor technicians or EKG technicians, are trained to operate machines that track heart function. They work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and most positions require postsecondary education, although some on-the-job training may be provided.
Monitor technicians typically complete a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree program in cardiovascular technology, electrocardiography or a related field. These programs typically take 1-2 years to complete and include coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, math and electrocardiography. Some programs also include an internship in a hospital or other healthcare facility.
Most monitor technician programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Although not required, certification may improve job prospects. The Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offers the Registered Cardiac Monitor Technician (RCM Technician) credential for candidates who have completed an accredited program and passing an examination. Alternatively, the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Electrophysiology Specialist (EPS) credential for candidates who hold current certification as a medical assistant, phlebotomy technician or electrocardiograph technician/electrocardiograph operator and pass an examination. Many states regulate cardiovascular technologists and technicians; requirements vary by state but often include passing an exam.
Monitor technicians typically need to be licensed as cardiovascular technologists or registered with the state in which they work. Specific requirements vary by state but generally include completing an accredited program and passing an exam . Alternatively, some states offer registration for certified medical assistants , phlebotomy technicians , or electrocardiograph operators/technicians who pass an exam .
Education and Training
A high school diploma or GED is usually required to work as a monitor tech. Some employers may prefer or require applicants to have an EKG Technician certification.
Most monitor techs receive on-the-job training, which typically lasts for a few weeks. New workers shadow more experienced techs and gradually take on more responsibility.
The median annual salary for a Monitor Technician was $33,280 in 2017, with a range usually between $30,560-$36,160. This means that half of all Monitor Techs earned more than this salary and half earned less.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including monitor techs, was $55,070 as of May 2018 (). Earnings tend to increase with experience. The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners in this occupation made less than $33,620, while the highest 10% earned more than $83,010 in 2018.
In May 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that over half of all EKG technicians worked in hospitals. Many outpatient care centers also employed EKG techs. The remaining technicians worked for physicians’ offices, diagnostic and medical laboratories, and other healthcare facilities. Some traveled to provide on-site services to patients in their homes.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for monitor technicians is positive. The median annual salary for this position is $48,120. Monitor technicians can find employment in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and medical laboratories.
The job outlook for monitor techs is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14 percent growth in the field between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
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