Cardiac Monitor Technician Training Program and Career Facts

Cardiac monitor technicians help nurses and doctors look after patients with heart problems. Review the training options for cardiac monitor technicians, as well as their duties while on the job. Get info on the job outlook and typical salary for techs in this field. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Cardiac Monitor Technician?

A cardiac monitor technician is a medical professional that analyzes a patient's heart-rate. Professionals in this field may be more broadly categorized as cardiovascular, cardiographic or electrocardiograph technicians. Patients receiving attention from these professionals are usually in the hospital for a prolonged medical stay, or are having their cardiac system reviewed for heart-rate abnormalities. A cardiac monitor technician needs to communicate their patient findings with nurses and doctors.

Monitor technicians are typically considered to be noninvasive, since they mostly deal with measuring the electrical heart-beats of the heart during rest, emotional stress or exercise. Cardiovascular technologists, on the other hand, may practice more advanced procedures, including invasive techniques. Technologists may require more advanced training than technicians.

What Kind of Training Is Needed?

The lowest form of education you'll need to become a cardiac monitor technician may be a high school diploma or obtaining a GED. After completing your high school diploma, you may also choose to enter into an accredited postsecondary program that combines classroom and training experience.

Training programs can offer courses and onsite medical skills, like CPR and pathogen protection, as well as other hospital or doctor's office skills. Simulation laboratory experiments can train you how to react and what proper protocols to take in case of a cardiac emergency. Some courses could include heart anatomy, medical terminology, cardiac rhythm analysis, cardiac system therapy and monitor interpretation.

The main accrediting organization is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (CAAHEP), which accredits training programs under the 'cardiovascular technology' category. Cardiology technician programs may be available as 1-year certificate options, while cardiovascular technology programs may be more commonly offered as associate or bachelor's degree programs.

What Is the Career Outlook?

Most cardiac monitor technicians work directly under nurses and doctors at hospitals, nursing facilities or health centers. The CAAHEP stated that the 2009-2010 entry-level income for all cardiovascular technologists averaged $36,000-$45,000 a year (www.caahep.org). According Salary.com, the average salary for cardiac monitor technicians is $29,535 (www.salary.com). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that cardiovascular technicians and technologists were expected to see a 24% employment growth rate from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov).

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