What Is the National EKG Certification Exam?
An EKG or ECG certification exam tests the knowledge and skills of a healthcare provider's use of the electrocardiogram, a machine that collects data about the heart's activity. The machine is usually administered by a cardiographic technician. Read on to learn more about this credential.
EKG Certification Exam Options
There is no single national EKG certification exam, but various organizations do offer certifications for EKG operation. 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. Most professionals in this field already have healthcare training and education, which usually involves teaching in the use of an EKG machine.
However, while there are no regulations requiring a person who uses an EKG machine to be certified, 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||High school diploma or GED, verified experience or completion of approved ECG course|
|Online Availability||Fully available|
|Continuing Education||NCCT certification renewal requires 14 credit hours a year; NHA certification renewal requires 10 credit hours every two years|
|Possible Careers||Cardiographic technician, cardiovascular technologist|
|Median Salary (2018)||$56,850 (for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||10% (for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The National Center for Competency Testing (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 different ways you can qualify to take this exam. You may be currently enrolled, have graduated from an approved ECG program within the past five years or have at least one year of verifiable full-time work experience as an ECG technician within the past 5 years. To maintain your certification, you must complete pay a renewal fee and show proof of continuing education yearly.
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers you the chance to earn the Certified EKG Technician (CET) designation. 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.