Telemetry is a type of technology that allows for the transmission of information across vast distances. While telemetry is used in several industries to collect and analyze data, the healthcare sector has found that it can be used to monitor the electrical activity of the heart in patients who suffer from a variety of different cardiac conditions. Those who are having telemetry administered are usually admitted to the hospital for a period of hours or even days during which they are watched closely by medical personnel who specialize in cardiac care. Since the data is transmitted wirelessly, the patient can be kept in an area that is fairly removed from the monitoring station. A telemetry technician is an unlicensed provider who is tasked with helping nurses and physicians with the setup and monitoring process. Those who have an interest in this career path are strongly encouraged to become familiar with their certification options.
Unlicensed members of the cardiac care team are commonly referred to as cardiovascular technologists, cardiac technicians, EKG technicians, and more. Although most technicians perform a diverse array of patient care activities, it is possible for an individual to be assigned to a specific task such as telemetry. Since these positions are generally entry-level opportunities that do not require a college degree or a state license, several employers have adopted certification protocols that are designed to ensure the competence of those who are offering patient care. Directors establish these standards because they realize that patients are more receptive to certified providers and because many insurance companies evaluate the legitimacy of the services rendered based on the credentials of the provider. In situations where they employer does not require certification, individuals are encouraged to voluntarily sit for an exam due to the many benefits that come with formal credentialing.
Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) are two of the most widely respected organizations in the United States that provide certification exams for technicians in the cardiovascular specialty. The test administered through CCI is known as the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) exam while that offered by the NHA is referred to as the Certified EKG Technician (CET) exam. Both of these options were developed to assess the general competency of an individual who wants to work as a technician in cardiac care. Although these examinations cover much more than just telemetry, they are often used by administrators who are looking to hire individuals to work in the telemetry monitoring center. Formal training and test preparation is usually provided by the employer or a local community college and vocational school.
The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) does offer exams that are more tailored to the telemetry process, but they are primarily for registered nurses who work in transitional care, step-down, intermediate care, and observation units. Technicians who are planning to advance their career in the cardiac department by acquiring a nursing degree may also want to consider the telemetry certification options offered by the AACN. The two primary examinations are the Progressive Care Nurse Certification (PCCN) exam and the Adult Tele-ICU Acute / Critical Care Nurse Certification (CCRN-E) exam. Again, it is important to confirm with the employer that the intended test is an approved option before the test date is scheduled. Other career advancement opportunities may be available through the employer or local, state, and national industry organizations. As the healthcare environment continues to evolve, it is expected that formal credentials will become increasingly important.
Working within the medical field as an unlicensed technician is one of the most rewarding ways to contribute to the well-being of society. The need for qualified individuals who are willing to work in this specialty is evident from the competitive EKG technician salary that several institutions are now offering. Those who are willing to demonstrate competency through national certification can expect to benefit from many years of solid job growth and expanding advancement opportunities. To learn more about positions that are available in a specific region, technicians are advised to contact potential employers directly.