EKG vs Medication Aide

EKG vs Medication Aide

As a workforce development specialist, I often encounter students who are looking for vocational training options that will lead them to a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Two popular choices among these students are becoming an EKG technician or a Medication Aide. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two roles, their job descriptions, required education and training, as well as their career outlook and salary potential.

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The healthcare industry offers a wide range of career opportunities, and choosing the right path can be a daunting task. EKG technicians and Medication Aides play vital roles in patient care, but their responsibilities and skill sets differ significantly. Understanding the differences between these two professions can help students make an informed decision about which path to pursue.

What is an EKG and Medication Aide?

EKG Technician: An EKG (Electrocardiogram) technician is a healthcare professional who specializes in administering and interpreting electrocardiogram tests. These tests measure the electrical activity of the heart and help doctors diagnose various heart conditions. EKG technicians work closely with cardiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate readings and provide crucial information for patient care.

Medication Aide: A Medication Aide, on the other hand, is responsible for assisting nurses and other healthcare professionals in administering medication to patients. They work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Medication Aides must have a strong understanding of different medications, their potential side effects, and proper administration techniques.

Difference between an EKG and Medication Aide

While both EKG technicians and Medication Aides work in the healthcare field, their roles and responsibilities differ significantly. Here are some key differences between the two:


  • EKG technicians primarily focus on administering and interpreting electrocardiogram tests.
  • Medication Aides assist in administering medications to patients and ensuring their safety and well-being.

Patient Interaction:

  • EKG technicians often work directly with patients, attaching electrodes and explaining the procedure.
  • Medication Aides have more frequent patient interaction, as they administer medications and may provide basic care to patients.

Focus of Expertise:

  • EKG technicians specialize in cardiac health and are experts in interpreting EKG readings.
  • Medication Aides have a broader knowledge of medications and their administration.

EKG vs Medication Aide: Job Description

EKG Technician: EKG technicians play a critical role in diagnosing and monitoring heart conditions. Their job responsibilities include:

  • Preparing patients for EKG procedures by attaching electrodes to specific areas of the body.
  • Operating EKG machines and monitoring the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Assisting physicians in interpreting EKG results and identifying potential abnormalities.
  • Maintaining accurate patient records and ensuring patient confidentiality.
  • Calibrating and maintaining EKG equipment to ensure accurate readings.

Medication Aide: Medication Aides work closely with nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure the safe and proper administration of medications. Their job responsibilities include:

  • Administering medications to patients as prescribed by healthcare professionals.
  • Ensuring the correct dosage and proper administration techniques.
  • Monitoring patients for any adverse reactions or side effects from the medications.
  • Documenting medication administration and any observed changes in patient condition.
  • Assisting with other patient care tasks, such as taking vital signs and providing emotional support.

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EKG vs Medication Aide: Education and Training

EKG Technician: Becoming an EKG technician typically requires the following education and training:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Completion of a postsecondary program in EKG technology, which can range from several weeks to several months.
  • Hands-on training in performing EKG procedures and interpreting results.
  • Optional certification through organizations such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Society of EKG Technicians (ASET).

Medication Aide: To become a Medication Aide, individuals must complete the following education and training:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Completion of a state-approved medication aide training program, which typically takes several weeks.
  • Passing a competency exam to obtain certification as a Medication Aide.
  • Continuing education to maintain certification and stay up-to-date with medication administration practices.

EKG vs Medication Aide: Career Outlook and Salary

EKG Technician: The demand for EKG technicians is expected to grow in the coming years due to an aging population and increased awareness of heart conditions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, was $57,720 as of May 2020. The BLS also projects a 5% job growth for these professionals from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Medication Aide: The demand for Medication Aides is also expected to increase as the population continues to age and require more healthcare services. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for nursing assistants, which includes Medication Aides, was $30,850 as of May 2020. The BLS projects a 8% job growth for nursing assistants from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career path in the healthcare field can be both challenging and rewarding. Whether you decide to become an EKG technician or a Medication Aide, both roles offer opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of patients. Consider your interests, skills, and long-term career goals when making a decision. Remember to research and explore all available training programs and certification options to ensure a successful career in your chosen field.

Dive into the expansive reach of Dreambound's programs across various locations. For a detailed exploration of the two vocations, visit the suggested blogs to uncover specific requirements and gain valuable perspectives on how to commence your journey effectively.

Blessed Joy Amarga
Written by
Blessed Joy Amarga

Blessed Joy Amarga is part of the Growth and Sales teams at Dreambound. She helps bring in new leads, increasing the number of people at the top of the sales funnel, and supporting the team in creating graphics to boost social media engagement. Blessed is also a Licensed Architect. Outside work, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places for her vlog.

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