A telemetry technician is someone who specializes in the use of remote monitoring technology to help observe and record the activity of the heart from a distance. Individuals who suffer from heart disease, but who have been classified as stable are often admitted to a medical facility in order to allow medical professionals to observe their heart under resting and active conditions. This can be done by connecting a wireless transmitter to a recording apparatus such as an electrocardiogram. Members of the cardiac care team are typically the ones who are responsible for getting patients setup for monitoring and for keeping watch over patients while they are at the facility. EKG technicians are commonly included in the telemetry process and might even specialize in remote monitoring if they are employed within a critical, acute, progressive, or intensive care unit. In order to provide cardiac care as a technician, most people will be required to complete some form of certification that demonstrates their competence. |
Cardiovascular technicians are generally not required to complete a college degree or extensive training in order to find employment as an EKG technician or telemetry technician. This is the case because they are only allowed to perform tasks that have been deemed appropriate for delegation by advanced and licensed providers. Although there are very few barriers to entry in this profession, many administrators now require technicians to complete a national certification examination as a condition of employment. The adoption of formal credentialing standards shows patients that a facility is qualified to provide high quality care and demonstrates the importance of the technician in the provision of care process. While some technicians are not required to become certified, those who choose to do so might be able to earn more money, take advantage of a broader array of advancement options, and secure better benefits.
There are a number of different certification options available to individuals who work as technicians in a cardiac care unit. In general, most people who pursue the profession will first complete a basic exam that qualifies them to work as an electrocardiogram technician. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) administers several allied health exams including the Certified EKG Technician (CET) examination. This is a great place to start for those who are new to the specialty and who want to gain experience in many different areas of cardiac care before attempting to specialize in telemetry. An alternate exam known as the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) is offered through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). These tests are designed to assess the competence of an entry-level technician and will have questions relating to telemetry mixed in with questions on several other important topics.
The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) offers telemetry certification for those who are nurses and who plan on working in acute, critical, progressive, or intensive care. A technician who wants to take an examination offered through the AACN may be required to complete a nursing degree before becoming eligible to sit for the exam. Two of the popular tests that they offer include the Progressive Care Nurse Certification (PCCN) exam and the Adult Tele-ICU Acute / Critical Care Nurse Certification (CCRN-E) exam. These are generally reserved for more advanced personnel who work with patients who are high risk, but they are worth considering. In addition, some employers require one or both of these exams as a condition of employment. When deciding on the most appropriate option, it is important to carefully consider one’s long-term career objectives as well as the expectations of the employer. Before scheduling a test date, all aspiring technicians should confirm that the credential is approved.
Working in cardiac care is one of the most satisfying employment opportunities available to entry-level medical providers today. Few professions allow individuals to have as much impact on the health and well-being of others while enjoying strong job growth and high levels of professional satisfaction. Those who feel that this career path is the best option for them are encourage to learn more about the credentialing opportunities in their area as well as how formal certification can impact the size of the EKG technician salary. Thorough review of these details may help reaffirm one's commitment to the profession and will better prepare them for the application and interview process.
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