What Is the National EKG Certification Exam?

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a machine that collects data about the heart's activity. EKG may also be referred to as ECG. An EKG test may be prescribed by a doctor for a patient experiencing heart-related issues. EKG tests are usually administered by a cardiographic technician. There is no single national EKG certification exam, but various organizations do offer certifications for EKG operation. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

EKG Certification Exam Options

Cardiographic technicians are not the only healthcare professionals who use EKGs, but they are the specialists who most often administer the EKG tests. Other professionals who may use EKGs include nurses and doctors.

There are no regulations requiring a person who uses an EKG machine to be certified. Most professionals already have healthcare training and education, which usually involves training in how to use an EKG machine. However, certification is becoming an employer-based requirement for cardiographic technicians. You may seek EKG certification from various organizations, including the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Important Facts About EKG Certification

Prerequisites EKG training program, high school diploma or GED
Possible Careers Cardiographic technician, cardiovascular technologist
Continuing Education NCCT certification renewal requires 14 credit hours a year; NHA certification renewal requires 10 credit hours every two years
Key Skills Technical skills, interpersonal skills, hand-eye coordination, detail oriented

NCCT Certification

The NCCT offers the National Certified ECG Technician (NCET) designation. The NCCT is an independent organization that offers various certifications for professionals within the medical field. The NCET exam is developed through a process that involves a job analysis and gathering information from schools, employers and those working in the field.

The NCET exam is designed to test your knowledge of the ECG (EKG), its proper operation and test result analysis. There are two ways you can qualify to take this exam. You may have either graduated from an approved ECG program within the past 10 years or have at least 2800 hours of work experience as an ECG technician within the past 10 years. To maintain your certification, you must complete 14 hours of continuing education every year.

NHA Certification

The NHA offers you the chance to earn the Certified EKG Technician (CET) designation. The NHA is an organization that offers certification options and resources to healthcare professionals. Certification exams from the NHA are developed by a research and test development team.

To be eligible to take the CET exam, you must earn a high school diploma or equivalent and have documented proof of the performance of 10 EKG tests through a training program or work experience. The exam has 100 questions and covers topics including the cardiovascular system, medical terminology, EKG interpretation, EKG equipment, patient rights and professionalism. To recertify, you must show proof of at least 10 continuing education credits every two years.

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