Certification is an important part of becoming a successful EKG technician because it is one of the few opportunities a technician has to acquire tangible proof that they possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive care to cardiac patients. Most states have no regulations that require an EKG technician to complete formal education, training, or certification and; therefore, technicians do not possess the same type of credentials that licensed medical professionals benefit from.
The fact that the government and health insurance companies reimburse facilities largely based on the qualifications of their providers means that technicians are often at risk of being viewed as less important in the patient care process. For this reason, many facilities require technicians to pass a certification exam as a condition of long-term employment. Successful completion of an exam is viewed favorably by health insurance companies and they will often pay hospitals and other healthcare facilities a higher fee for services provided by a credentialed technician. Certification also shows patients that a facility is serious about ensuring the competence of those who are providing direct patient care.
There are two well-respected organizations within the United States that offer exams leading to professional credentials for EKG technicians. These companies include the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). While both organizations have designed their exams to evaluate a technicians understanding of specific concepts and tasks, they each have a slightly different way of structuring their exam and assessing performance. Those who intend to pursue this career path are well-advised to review the topics covered on these exams prior to beginning a training program. This simple step allows technicians to develop a more informed view of the industry and a better understanding of the types of responsibilities they will have as a technician in a cardiac care unit.