Employment opportunities for EKG technicians are expected to rise faster than average. In fact, the need for EKG technicians is expected to grow by 24% over the next six years. An aging baby-boomer population and consequent higher incidence of heart disease, greater public awareness and earlier detection of vascular disease, along with the tendency for patients to prefer non-radiologic procedures is creating the increase in demand for EKG technicians. While hospitals will continue to be the main type of employer, most new jobs will arise in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers.
Students are trained to record and monitor the heart’s electrical activity. They receive hands-on instruction in preparing patients for various methods of EKG testing, Holter monitoring, and exercise stress testing. Following the lecture/student lab classes, students will be placed in clinical settings to further develop the skill of electrocardiography on actual patients. EKG Technician courses are designed to prepare students to take a national certification exam.
What are the prerequisites?
Students taking health certificate programs that have direct contact with patients may be required to meet or obtain the following:
- Proof of completion of Hepatitis B vaccine series
- Criminal Background Check
- Drug Screening
- CPR Certification for healthcare provider or profession rescuer
- Hospital scrubs and student identification badge
- Flu Shot
- Current immunization: Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, TB Skin Test, Chicken Pox (Varicella)
The salary range for EKG Technicians in the Greater Houston Area is $34,900 and $45,500.
EKG Information Sheet
Are there any low-cost blood testing (Titers) for immunity confirmation & vaccines?
- Pasadena Health Center: 908 Southmore, 77502
- Legacy Community Health Service: 5602 Lyons, Ste. 1
- Central Care Community Health Center at MLK
8610 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 77033
- Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services
2223 West Loop South, 77027 713.439.6000
**Sunnyside Clinic – possibly free vaccines and TB skin test with proof that you are an HCC student.
Sources of local vaccines?
County health departments offer adult vaccines. You may request low or no cost vaccines. Be sure to go to the clinic in the county in which you live. Call for an appointment prior to going.
Harris County: http://www.hcphes.org/dccp/clinical.htm
Harris County Antoine Health Clinic:
5815 Antoine, Suite A, Houston, 77091 713- 602-3300
Harris County Baytown Health Clinic:
1000 Lee Drive, Baytown, 77520 281-427-5195
Harris County Humble Health Clinic:
1730 Humble Place Drive, Humble 77338 281- 446-4222
Harris County LaPorte Health Clinic:
1009 South Broadway, LaPorte, 77571 281- 471-4202
Harris County Southeast Health Clinic:
3737 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena, 77503 713- 740-5000
Fort Bend County Health Department Clinics
Fort Bend County EAST END ANNEX:
303 F.M. 2234, #202
Missouri City, 77459 281-403-8041
Fort Bend County CLINICAL HEALTH SERVICES
4520 Reading Road, Suite “A”
Rosenberg, 77471 281-342-6414
What is a Patient Care Technician?
- The Patient Care Technician, also known as a PCT, level 3, is a nationally recognized name for a Certified Nurse Aide with Phlebotomy and EKG training. The healthcare career ladder is structured so that there may be a salary increase for each skill added to the basic certified nurse aid training.
- The PCT certificate is offered for HCC students who complete the Certified Nurse Aide, Phlebotomy, and ECG Lab 1 (12-Lead Fundamentals) programs/classes.
Patient Care Technician Curriculum-
NURA 1001 Certified Nurse Aide, 108 hours
Current CNA licensure accepted in lieu of NURA 1001
PLAB 1023 Phlebotomy, 96 hours
PLAB 1060 Phlebotomy Clinical, 120 hours
ECRD 1091 ECG 12-Lead Fundamentals, 32 hours
Please attend a Patient Care Technician Info Session to learn how to apply to this program and determine if funding is available.
Is there Financial Aid available?
Funding may be available through multiple resources, including TPEG and Workforce Solutions.
Please see the Information Session Packet for potential funding sources.
Are there payment plans available?
- Online Payment Plans available. Nonrefundable service fee is $30.
- Pay 50% at registration; pay remaining before end of class.
- Payment of tuition or initiation of payment plan must be completed prior to first day of class.
How do I register?
What is the attendance policy?
- Perfect attendance is recommended.
- 80% attendance is required, with all assignments, exams, and lab competencies completed.
- Students are allowed (2) two absences during the clinical portion, which must be made up.
Campus locations for classes?
- Southeast College - 6815 Rustic, 77087 (45 & Woodridge)
- Alief Bissonnet – 13803 Bissonnet, 77083
Students with disabilities may arrange reasonable accommodations by contacting the Disability Services Office at the respective college.
Southeast college (for Eastside): 713.718.7218
Northwest college (for Alief Bissonnet): 713.718.5604
Southwest college (for Brays Oaks): 713-718-7909
The following include requirements that must be submitted prior to enrollment or by the due date given by the clinical instructor.
Students who have not submitted all required documents by the requested date will be required to repeat a lecture and/or lab class for clinical eligibility.
- Criminal Background Check for students through Precheck, approximately $60. www.precheck.com. No felonies accepted for clinical placement in phlebotomy, telemetry, or EKG. All applicants with misdemeanors must be pre-approved prior to entry into the programs. There is no guarantee of clinical placement.
- Drug Screen through Lab Corp, $35
Students must use the form provided by the instructor.
- CPR: BLS - Basic Life Support level required for healthcare workers $40-$65
- Photocopy of Student ID Submit during the first month of class.
- Uniform scrubs must be worn during labs and clinical
- Current immunizations (see below)
What are the required immunizations
Required Immunizations for Clinical:
Hepatitis B Proof of either:
- A complete three-injection series of Hepatitis B vaccinations OR a two-dose of HEPLISAV-B series
- A positive serum titer to hepatitis B surface antibody
*Note: The Hepatitis B injection series is a 6-month process. There must be a minimum of 1 month between the 1st and 2nd vaccine, and a minimum of 6 months between the 1st and 3rd immunization.
The “fast track/accelerated schedule” vaccine is not accepted, without proof of immunity, by a positive blood titer, unless all 4 vaccines were completed according to the protocol which includes a 12-month period.
- HEPLISAV-B series is a two dose vaccine series given one month apart and may be more costly.
Tdap is required. (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis)
The vaccine is good for, (expires in), 10 years.
MMR (Mumps, Measles, Rubella)
- Two doses given at least 1-month apart OR
- Immunity confirmation blood titers to each one of the three diseases
Varicella (Chicken Pox) Proof of either:
- Documentation of two varicella immunizations, OR
- Serum titer confirming immunity
Note: The varicella injection series is a four-week process. Clinical sites do not accept proof of history of varicella, but require vaccinations or a positive serum titer.
Tuberculosis (TB) Proof of either:
- A negative PPD skin test, or
- A clear chest x-ray if skin test is positive.
*Note: Test is good for 12 months and must not expire during clinical.
Some sites require that the TB skin test be administered within a few months of clinical application. Also, some sites will not accept a clear chest Xray unless a positive TB skin test precedes it.
Note: ALL BLOOD TITERS MUST INCLUDE THE LAB REPORT WITH REFERENCE RANGES FOR EACH TEST.
Additional clinical information
- Clinical placement is dependent upon site availability.
- Clinical is typically M-F, daytime hours only.
- Clinicals are 120 hours, full time. This equals three consecutive weeks of 40 hours per week. Part time clinicals are not available.
- Weekend clinical placement is not available.
- Students do not choose their clinical sites, and are placed according to several criteria. Some sites require a $20 application fee, and some require students pay for parking.
Successful completion of curriculum
Successful students have or observe the following:
- Strong critical reading skills: college level reading is advised.
- Excellent Attendance: attend more than 80% of class hours
- Spend time outside of class studying and completing assignments: For every hour in class, a successful student will spend 2 hours outside of class. This can be 5 – 20 hours in addition to the hours in class.
- High compliance to classroom/clinical requirements:
- No fragrances in class, labs or clinical;
- Wear scrubs for lab and clinical;
- Use only one electronic device with camera and microphone for virtual lectures; no recording or duplication of virtual lectures;
- Cell phones are off or on vibrate for lab and clinical;
- No food/drink in classroom/lab except bottled water;
- Professionalism associated with healthcare required: including attitude and behavior;
- No artificial nails or polish: maximum length of nails is 1/8 inch;
- No hats or caps in classroom, lab or clinical;
- Limited jewelry: wristwatch with second hand, one hand ring, and one set of earrings. Facial piercings must not have visible ornamentation;
- Fully participate in all lab and class activities. Phlebotomy students perform multiple venipunctures and dermal punctures on each other, each lab, and throughout the course. EKG lab students perform multiple EKGs on each other. Female students will wear a bikini top undergarment and disposable paper cape.
- Submit all required clinical documents by the due date given by the clinical instructor.
- Complete all payments at time of enrollment or by payment plan due date.
How do I order books online from HCC Bookstore
- Click on “Current Students”
- Click on “HCC Bookstore”
- Click on “Shop Now. Search by course.”
- Follow the steps listed. (You need to know your courses and CRN numbers to fill out the request form.)
Books may be purchased from the HCC bookstore, Barnes & Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com), textbook publisher or other alternate online sources. One source is www.bookfinder4u.com. Books are also available from the publishers, sometimes with discounts for students.