Electrocardiogram

Categories: Telemetry Technician

If you intend to pursue telemetry certification, or you have an interest in the field that you might pursue someday, there may be certain aspects of the process that you want more information about. That’s why today we’ll take a look at some of the questions surrounding telemetry certification that are common amongst candidates; hopefully it’ll shed new light on the matter.

What is telemetry?

Telemetry, in broad terms, is the science of electronically monitoring a patient’s vital signs. This is most commonly done via a telemetric monitor which displays a patient’s heart rate and rhythm.

How long does it take to complete a telemetry certification course?

The lengths of training programs and courses can vary significantly depending on the organizations offering them, as well as what the program prepares you for. If you go with one of the convenient online courses available, and physical training courses that supplement your online learning, you can be fully certified within 1 – 5 months, depending on your prior medical experience. As an example, the certification course offered by the National Telemetry Association is self-paced, must be completed within 6 months, and is intended for applicants with no prior knowledge.

Are certification courses/tests difficult?

While there are many elements of a telemetry technician’s job that aren’t as cut and dry as just reading and noting down numbers, the difficulty of your course depends entirely on the testing body that will administer your final exam and eventually grant your certification. As a general rule, most accreditation tests will allow multiple attempts within a certain period, so you shouldn’t be too worried about difficulty. As an example, the NTA online course final exam requires candidates to score at least 85 percent in order to receive their certification.

What profession does a telemetry certification prepare me for, and what does the job entail?

A certification qualifies you to work as a telemetry or monitor technician. It is a telemetry technician’s job to monitor the electrical signals that represent a patient’s heart activity, and identify rhythms as well as the signs of cardiovascular issues. As a technician, you also become well acquainted with the essential equipment (the monitor and electrodes), and you are expected to be able to troubleshoot issues with both to a reasonable degree.  While most of your expertise will come with hands on experience, The basic process you’re engaged in involves the following:

  • Identifying where to attach electrodes in order to effectively monitor a patient’s heart activity.
  • Attaching the electrodes.
  • Interpreting readings on the monitor.
  • Identify potential health risks, such as cardiac arrhythmia.

A telemetry technician’s duties may involve monitoring critically ill patients who are in or have recently been discharged from the ICU. For patients such as these, and others, a technician’s ability to identify issues through what they see on their monitor may be critical to saving their lives.

We hope that answers some of the questions you may have had regarding telemetry certification. If you have a specific question that wasn’t covered in this article, please feel free to reach out to us here.

Test Your Telemetry Knowledge

Download 10 free sample questions straight from the official National Telemetry Association practice exam to get a head start on your certification prep!