The Essence Of Being A Telemetry Technician

If you are a medical student who is looking for a new career path beyond a doctor or a nurse, telemetry technician is one of the best STEM healthcare careers to pursue. It’s predicted that by 2024, the demand for telemetry technicians will increase by approximately 24%, making telemetry technician one of the hottest professions in the future. In order to help you get off to a good start on the journey to becoming a telemetry technician, this article will show you exactly the role and importance of this profession in the medical field.

Telemetry Technician
Telemetry Technician

Where Do Telemetry Technicians Work?

There are a lot of job opportunities for telemetry technicians not only in public hospitals, but also in private clinics or healthcare centers. Specialized medical facilities such as ambulatory surgical centers or cardiovascular centers are where telemetry technicians are needed most due to the high volume of major surgeries performed there.

Besides mainstream hospitals and clinics, research laboratories are also an ideal place to work, as there are a lot of health-related tests and experiments conducted. In these experiments, test subjects’ health conditions need to be monitored carefully, therefore experienced telemetry technicians are always necessary.

Responsibilities Of Telemetry Technicians

In general, a telemetry technician plays the role of monitoring the patients’ electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG), including heart rate and blood pressure. These vital signs of health are displayed through a special machine called a “telemetry monitor”.

In order to receive EKG signals from a patient, telemetry technicians need to connect electrodes to specific points on the patient’s body. These signals will be reviewed constantly by the telemetry technicians, as small changes can be the signs of serious health problems.

Professional telemetry technicians must have proficient skills and be able to identify unusual health alarms such as arrhythmias or abnormalities. When these issues occur, it’s the telemetry technicians’ responsibility to inform in-charge doctors or nurses of any possible risks, making sure the patients are always cared for to the highest standards.

Responsibilities of telemetry technicians
Responsibilities of telemetry technicians

Skills and Qualifications

In order to become a professional telemetry technician, you need to take the NTA exam online with questions related to heart anatomy, EKG equipment, etc. You will receive the NTA certificate if you score at 85% or higher. However, to qualify for the exam, you need to at least achieve a degree in a relevant health care field, or at least a high school diploma or a G.E.D. certificate.

In case it’s impossible for you to take the NTA exam, you can consider enrolling in an approved training course organized by the National Telemetry Association. Completing this course is the foundation for you to begin your telemetry technician career.

The Importance Of Telemetry Technicians

Even small cardiac baseline changes that go unnoticed can lead to loss of life, and telemetry technicians will do their best to prevent this from happening. This is especially true when it comes to surgery, as without the help of telemetry technicians, surgeons wouldn’t be able to monitor the patient’s condition, leading to unfortunate problems during surgery or even death.

Monitoring the progress of the EKG after surgery is also very important, as physiologic problems of the heart, sinus, atrial, junctional, ventricular, atrioventricular arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, or infarction… are likely to occur during this phase. With expertise in cardiac monitoring, telemetry technicians can provide immediate assistance whenever a patient’s condition worsens.

Sum Up

Pursuing a career as a telemetry technician indeed requires a lot of patience and commitment. However, with an average yearly salary of around $56,000, this career will be a promising option for young medical students, much more appealing than most other jobs in the medical field.