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Become A Monitor Technician

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Working As A Monitor Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $64,536

    Average Salary

What Does A Monitor Technician Do

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, operate special imaging equipment to create images or conduct tests. The images and test results help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions. Some technologists assist physicians and surgeons during surgical procedures.

Duties

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, typically do the following:

  • Prepare patients for procedures by taking a patient’s medical history and answering any questions about the procedure
  • Prepare and maintain diagnostic imaging equipment
  • Operate equipment to obtain diagnostic images or to conduct tests
  • Review images or test results to check for quality and adequate coverage of the areas needed for diagnoses
  • Recognize the difference between normal and abnormal images and other diagnostic information
  • Analyze diagnostic information to provide a summary of findings for physicians
  • Record findings and keep track of patients’ records

Diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in creating images of the body’s organs and tissues. The images are known as sonograms (or ultrasounds). Sonograms are often the first imaging test performed when disease is suspected. Diagnostic medical sonographers may work closely with physicians or surgeons before, during, and after procedures. The following are examples of types of diagnostic medical sonographers:

  • Abdominal sonographers specialize in imaging a patient’s abdominal cavity and nearby organs, such as the kidney, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or spleen. Abdominal sonographers may assist with biopsies or other examinations requiring ultrasound guidance.
  • Breast sonographers specialize in imaging a patient’s breast tissues. Sonography can confirm the presence of cysts and tumors that may have been detected by the patient, physician, or a mammogram. Breast sonographers work closely with physicians and assist with procedures that track tumors and help to provide information for making decisions about the best treatment options for breast cancer patients.
  • Musculoskeletal sonographers specialize in imaging muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. These sonographers may assist with ultrasound guidance for injections, or during surgical procedures, that deliver medication or treatment directly to affected tissues.
  • Pediatric sonographers specialize in imaging child and infant patients. Many of the medical conditions they image are associated with premature births or birth defects. Pediatric sonographers may work closely with pediatricians and other caregivers. 
  • Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers specialize in imaging the female reproductive system. Many pregnant women receive sonograms to track the baby’s growth and health. Obstetrical sonographers work closely with physicians in detecting congenital birth defects.

Diagnostic sonography uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. The sonographer uses an instrument called an ultrasound transducer on the parts of the patient’s body that are being examined. The transducer emits pulses of sound that bounce back, causing echoes. The echoes are then sent to the ultrasound machine, which processes them and displays them as images used by physicians for diagnosis.

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians create images, conduct tests, or assist with surgical procedures involving the heart. The following are examples of types of cardiovascular technologists and technicians:

  • Cardiac sonographers (echocardiographers) specialize in imaging a patient’s heart and use ultrasound equipment to examine the heart’s chambers, valves, and vessels. The images are known as echocardiograms. The echocardiogram procedure may be done while the patient is either resting or after being physically active. Cardiac sonographers also may take echocardiograms of fetal hearts so that physicians can diagnose cardiac conditions during pregnancy. Cardiac sonographers work closely with physicians or surgeons before, during, and after procedures.
  • Cardiovascular invasive specialists or cardiac catheterization technologists, also known as cardiovascular technologists, monitor patients’ heart rates and help physicians in diagnosing and treating problems with patients’ hearts. They assist with cardiac catheterization, which involves threading a catheter through a patient’s artery to the heart. They also prepare and monitor patients during open-heart surgery and during the insertion of pacemakers and stents. Technologists prepare patients for procedures by shaving and cleansing the area where the catheter will be inserted and administering topical anesthesia. During the procedure, they monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Cardiographic or electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians specialize in electrocardiogram (EKG) testing. EKG machines monitor the heart’s performance through electrodes attached to a patient’s chest, arms, and legs. The tests can be done while the patient is at rest or while the patient is physically active. For a stress test, the patient walks on a treadmill and the technician gradually increases the speed to observe the effect of increased exertion.

Vascular technologists (vascular sonographers) are closely related to cardiovascular technologists and their duties are similar to those of diagnostic medical sonographers. Vascular technologists create images of blood vessels and collect data that help physicians diagnose disorders affecting blood flow.

Vascular technologists often measure a patient’s blood pressure and the volume of blood in their arms, legs, fingers, and toes to evaluate blood flow and identify blocked arteries. They complete noninvasive procedures using specialized ultrasound instruments or blood pressure cuffs to record information, such as the blood flow in arteries and veins, blood pressure (blood volume), oxygen saturation, and the presence of blood clots in the body. Vascular technologists may work closely with physicians or surgeons before, during, and after procedures.

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How To Become A Monitor Technician

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, need formal education, such as an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Many employers also require professional certification.

Education

Colleges and universities offer both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in sonography and in cardiovascular and vascular technology. One-year certificate programs also are available from colleges or hospitals.

Employers typically prefer graduates of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Sonography, cardiovascular, and vascular education programs usually include courses in anatomy, medical terminology, and applied sciences. Most sonography programs are divided into the specialized fields that correspond to the relevant certification exams, such as abdominal sonography or breast sonography. Cardiovascular and vascular programs include coursework in either invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular or vascular technology procedures. In addition to classroom study, most programs also include a clinical component in which students earn credit while working under a more experienced technologist in a hospital, physician’s office, or imaging laboratory.

High school students who are interested in diagnostic medical sonography, cardiovascular technology, or vascular technology should take courses in anatomy, physiology, physics, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers prefer to hire diagnostic imaging workers with professional certification. Many insurance providers and Medicare pay for procedures only if a certified sonographer, technologist, or technician performed the work. Certification is available from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Diagnostic imaging workers can earn certification by graduating from an accredited program and passing an exam. Most of the certifications are for specialties in diagnostic imaging; for example, a sonographer can earn a certification in abdominal sonography. Most diagnostic imaging workers have at least one certification, but many earn multiple certifications.

In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have a Basic Life Support certification, which shows they are trained to provide CPR.

Few states require diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed. Professional certification is typically required for licensure; other requirements vary by state. Contact state medical boards for more information.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Diagnostic imaging workers must follow precise instructions to obtain the images needed to diagnose and treat patients. They must also pay attention to the screen while scanning a patient’s body because the cues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones may be subtle.

Hand-eye coordination. To get quality images, diagnostic imaging workers must be able to accurately move equipment on the patient’s body in response to what they see on the screen.

Interpersonal skills. Diagnostic imaging workers must work closely with patients. Sometimes patients are in extreme pain or mental stress, and they must get cooperation from the patient to create usable images.

Physical stamina. Diagnostic imaging workers are on their feet for long periods and must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance.

Technical skills. Diagnostic imaging workers must understand how to operate complex machinery and computerized instruments.

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Monitor Technician Jobs

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Monitor Technician Career Paths

Monitor Technician
Service Technician Service Advisor Service Administrator
Administrative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Unit Coordinator Nurse Manager Flight Commander
Assistant Director Of Operations
5 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Office Manager Business Office Manager
Business Office Director
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Assistant Director Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Phlebotomist Radiologic Technician
Director Of Radiology
11 Yearsyrs
Cardiovascular Technician Registered Nurse Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Cardiovascular Technician Clinical Specialist Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Physician
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Respiratory Therapist Clinical Liaison Medical Science Liaison
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Room Technician Surgical Technician Medical Office Assistant
Medical Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Medical Office Assistant Medical Office Manager
Medical Practice Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Office Manager Payroll Specialist
Payroll Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Patient Care Technician Medical Assistant
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Monitor Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

63.2%

Male

35.0%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

13.1%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.3%

French

7.4%

German

3.7%

Hindi

3.7%

Portuguese

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Malayalam

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Russian

1.2%

Swedish

1.2%

Telugu

1.2%

Chinese

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Marathi

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Mandarin

1.2%

Dari

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Tamil

1.2%
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Monitor Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.7%

Community College of Allegheny County

7.1%

Ashford University

5.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.8%

West Virginia University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.8%

Grand Canyon University

5.4%

Santa Fe College

4.9%

Florida State University

4.9%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Fresno City College

4.0%

Midlands Technical College

4.0%

Tulsa Community College

3.6%

Fayetteville Technical Community College

3.6%

South Plains College

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Remington College

3.6%

Hinds Community College

3.1%

Saint Louis Community College

3.1%

Keiser University

3.1%
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Majors

Nursing

24.2%

Business

11.0%

Medical Technician

9.5%

Medical Assisting Services

8.4%

Health Care Administration

7.8%

Nursing Assistants

4.5%

Biology

4.4%

Psychology

4.2%

General Studies

4.0%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Health Sciences And Services

2.4%

Management

2.1%

Accounting

1.9%

Medicine

1.7%

Public Health

1.6%

Mental Health Counseling

1.5%

Human Services

1.4%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

32.3%

Bachelors

27.9%

Associate

17.5%

Masters

8.6%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

3.4%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

1.2%
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Top Skills for A Monitor Technician

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  1. Cardiac
  2. Telemetry Equipment
  3. EKG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained ongoing, high-level surveillance of patients' cardiac rhythms and notifies nursing/clinicians of any rate/rhythm changes according to clinician/provider orders.
  • Perform inventory checks on all monitor and telemetry equipment and documents.
  • Operated the EKG machine, then recorded the wave tracings and marked sections of the report for the physician to review.
  • Demonstrated excellence patient care, and displayed organization and control under the high stress environment of PCU as an UC.
  • Fitted patients with and monitored holter monitors for data collection

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Top Monitor Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Monitor Technician Employers

Monitor Technician Videos

How I learned and earned my ECG/EKG certification and telemetry/monitor technician

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