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Careers-Employment The electrocardiogram (EKG) is a noninvasive medical procedure that is used in cardiac care facilities to evaluate the electrical conduction of the heart. The use of the standard EKG has increased dramatically in the United States over the past several years because of the prevalence of heart disease among individuals who suffer from chronic diet and exercise related illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. These diseases alone have resulted in far more cardiac problems today than at any other point in history and have placed pressure on the healthcare system to find enough resources to manage current demand for cardiac care. Due to a shortage in qualified physicians, facilities have begun to hire additional technicians who have the knowledge and skills needed to administer electrocardiograms and assess the quality of the results prior to sending them to a nurse or physician for professional evaluation. Those who would like to work with individuals who suffer from a variety of heart conditions without having to complete many years of college education and professional training may want to consider the EKG technician career path as a viable option. Many technicians enter the field with little more than a high school diploma or equivalent and a few weeks of hands-on training. While this is an entry-level medical profession, many administrators do expect technicians to become familiar with the basics of electrocardiogram administration and the significance of the waves and intervals that are seen on a standard tracing. The EKG is often the first test that is performed on cardiac patients and it is very important for technicians to ensure that the results are acceptable before sending them off to a nurse or physician. There are a few different types of electrocardiograms that are used in healthcare depending on the circumstances under which the patient is being evaluated and the amount of detail that has been requested by the physician. In emergent situations, the most common EKG that is used is typically either the 3-lead or 5-lead version. Leads are electrodes that are placed on the chest and that are designed to capture the electrical activity of the heart as it beats. The information that is gathered by the electrodes is then sent to a machine that is capable of creating either a paper or digital tracing of different phases of the cardiac cycle. Individuals who suffer from stable heart conditions may receive a 12-lead EKG if additional views of electrical activity are needed in order to evaluate the condition. The use of additional leads provides views of electrical conduction that cannot be captured using only three to five leads. Regardless of the number of electrodes being used, a standard EKG tracing should consist of the same basic waves and intervals. A wave is simply a deviation from baseline that occurs as a result of the depolarization and repolarization of the hearts chambers. The first wave that should be seen on the electrocardiogram is referred to as the P wave and it is representative of the depolarization and contraction of the right and left atrium. These two chambers are responsible for forcing blood into the ventricles and must contract first in order to move blood in a forward direction. The P wave should soon be followed by a large spike that is referred to as the QRS complex. This wave signifies the ventricular depolarization and contraction that occurs when the heart forces blood through the vessels that lead to the lungs and the rest of the body. A final wave known as the T wave follows the QRS complex and is representative of ventricular repolarization as the heart returns to a resting state to await the next signal to contract. It is during this resting phase that the ventricles fill with blood. Each of these waves should be present in a standard EKG and should repeat with each cardiac contraction. The presence of abnormal waves or the absence of standard waves could indicate that a heart condition exists and must be evaluated by a physician who is licensed to treat individuals who have heart disease. Advanced medical personnel have been trained to identify patterns that result from different illnesses and formulate treatment plans that may help to improve the quality of life for the patient. Technicians are generally only expected to be able to administer the test and evaluate whether or not the results are acceptable for review. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: