EKG Certification Process – How to get Certified
Before an individual can obtain EKG certification, they must receive the necessary education and take an exam. After certification, EKG Technicians can work in various health care facilities, clinics and hospitals or for insurance companies. Let’s take a look at the EKG certification process from start to finish.
Education for EKG Certification
Before beginning the coursework that will lead to EKG certification, most schools require students to already have a diploma or GED from high school. You can attend classes at local colleges and universities that offer the classes or you can take the class online.
Taking online classes for EKG certification is something that is fairly new, so there are not a lot of options available currently. As these types of classes become more mainstream, you will see many more options becoming available through various schools. The only drawback for taking these classes online is that you will not get the hands on experience of placing the leads on a patient and using the EKG equipment.
Some of the subjects that are covered during the classes are:
EKG technician roles and functions
Caring for patients
Anatomy of the body as it relates to the heart
Analyzing wave forms and heart rhythms
Troubleshooting issues while working
Lead placement and use
Hands on use of EKG equipment
Classes for EKG certification run for about 7 to 10 weeks on average, covering 50 hours of credits, and costs between $1,000 and $1,500 depending on the school offering the course.
After completing the coursework, each student will be required to take a graded exam. This exam is practice for what will be required knowledge in the official certification exam.
Taking the EKG Certification Exam
The final step to certification is taking the exam given by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians or ASPT for short. The exact name for the certification exam is the ASPT EKG Technician Exam.
Before taking this exam, a fee of $95 plus fees to become a member of ASPT will have to be paid. However, if you wait until the last month before the exam date to pay the fee, you will have to pay $120.
This is in addition to the tuition costs that were required to take the classes.
According to the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians website, there are a couple of requirements that must be met before sitting for the exam. They are as follows…
For current members of ASPT:
The submission of a mounted EKG must be included when submitting the final exam.
6 months of hands on experience performing EKG’s
For non-members of ASPT:
Applicants must have graduated from an EKG program, which has been approved by the ASPT.
Your instructor’s signature on the exam application, or a verification letter from them is also required.
If you need a study guide, there are several free EKG certification exam prep manuals available on the Internet in pdf format that you can download to your computer.
Can You Take The EKG Certification Exam Online?
As a certified electrocardiogram (EKG) technician, you’ll perform one of the most important tasks inside a medical facility. With your technical knowledge of the ins and outs of an electrocardiograph machines, you’ll help doctors gain accurate and precise readings of a patient’s heart activity. This is necessary not only in providing an exact diagnosis of the patient’s condition, but also in coming up with the right treatment for him.
To be more specific, you’ll be tasked to do the following:
- prepare and administer EKG tests,
- print out and deliver final readings and results to doctors for a complete analysis,
- book and check appointments, and
- help doctors with the results by transcribing the interpretations.
While an EKG certification is not a strict requirement, most hospitals would require their EKG technicians to be certified for several reasons. For one, health insurance companies strictly require that all EKG tests should be administered by a licensed technician only. Otherwise, they won’t cover for the cost. Second, a certificate holder holds the advantage of having more promotion opportunities than one without a certificate.
While most certification-giving bodies prefer that you take the exam at a physical classroom, there’s one reputable agency that has no qualms administering the test online. Check out the American Allied Health’s website and get certified in as little time as less than 2 hours. The fee for this certification is currently set at $105.
Of course, you’ll still be asked to show proof that you truly are eligible for the certificate exam. You can select from these three choices: graduated from an allied health training program, at least one year of work experience in the field, military training or experience in the field.
Some of the proofs accepted by the American Allied Health include a certificate of training or diploma, a school transcript, a certification from an employer, and a certification from the military. To submit any of these proofs, simply scan one of them and upload the file as an attachment.
Aside from that, you will also be asked to choose from three shipping options for your certificate, which are either by e-mail, hard copy, or international shipping for hard copy with an additional fee of $24.95.
Once payment is complete, you will be given access to different study guides which will help you prepare for the exam. You are strongly suggested to take your time going through these guides.
When you’re ready for the exam, you can sit down in front of your computer and take it anytime you want. The exam is a multiple-choice and true-false type of exam, and it has 150 questions all in all. You are given 2 hours to finish answering all the questions.
Once you finish the exam, results are given immediately. But if you’re not satisfied with the results, you can take the exam again. There is no limit as to how many retakes you’ll have, but a fee of $30 will be asked if you retake it subsequently.