Becoming an EKG/Phlebotomy Technician is a way of expanding your skills and employment potential. There are a several schools that actually offer EKG (or ECG, Electrocardiography) and Phlebotomy training in combination.
Frequently the same person in a medical facility will perform the functions of both an EKG Technician and a Phlebotomy Technician.
EKG Technicians perform electrocardiogram tests which monitor and record the electrical impulses that are transmitted by the heart. Physicians use this information in diagnosing and treating cardiac and blood vessel irregularities. The tests may record information over 24 – 48 hours utilizing portable monitoring equipment, and stress tests using a treadmill.
Phlebotomy Technicians perform blood sampling, drawing blood from patients for diagnosis. They generally work under supervision of laboratory managers or medical technologists.
The EKG training in combination with phlebotomy training program produces technicians skilled in multiple laboratory techniques. They are responsible primarily for collecting blood samples for diagnosis. However they may collect other types of specimen such as urine, stool and culture. However the technician will also be able to analyse EKG.
Most of these specialized training courses will give you knowledge and skills in the following areas.
- Anatomy and physiology of the human heart
- Medical terminology
- Phlebotomy procedures
- Infection control
- Blood collection procedures
- Collection procedures for other specimens
- EKG machine operation
- EKG printout analysis
- Identification of Myocardial Infraction changes
- Understanding and distinguishing Arrhythmias
Once you have completed an EKG/Phlebotomy training course you’ll be able to do the appropriate lab work, monitor EKG equipment, collect blood and non-blood samples, and handle the necessary paperwork.
Entry requirements for these training programs is a High School diploma, although schools allow you to sit an entrance exam if you don’t have a diploma. The course duration is usually between 8 weeks and 6 months.
Many states in the US don’t require that an EKG or Phlebotomy Technician be licensed or certified. However after successful completion of the training course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. You will then be eligible to sit National Healthcare Association (NHA) exams for certification. The NHA is a leading Allied Health Medical Certification provider, dedicated to improving the quality of health care.
Employment of clinical laboratory workers (which includes phlebotomy technicians) is expected to grow as the volume of laboratory tests increases due to population growth and aging of the population, according to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Opportunities for healthcare technicians (including EKG Technicians) is predicted to grow at above average rate.
In the future if you want to continue your career education, some hospitals hire nursing students who have EKG and phlebotomy skills. Therefore training to become an EKG/Phlebotomy Technician is a wise choice to make for your future. Becoming a multi-skilled technician will increase your healthcare employment opportunities!