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EKG vs Pharmacy Technician

EKG vs Pharmacy Technician

When it comes to choosing a career in the medical field, there are numerous options available. Two popular choices are becoming an EKG technician or a pharmacy technician. While both professions are rewarding and offer opportunities for growth, they have distinct differences. In this blog post, we will explore the roles of an EKG technician and a pharmacy technician, and compare them in terms of job description, education and training, as well as career outlook and salary.

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What is an EKG and Pharmacy Technician?

EKG Technician:

An EKG technician, also known as an electrocardiogram technician, specializes in performing electrocardiograms on patients. This involves attaching electrodes to the patient's chest, arms, and legs, and using an EKG machine to record the electrical activity of the heart. EKG technicians work closely with physicians and nurses to monitor and interpret the results of these tests. They may also assist with stress tests and Holter monitoring.

Pharmacy Technician:

A pharmacy technician works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to prepare and dispense medications. They play a crucial role in ensuring that patients receive the correct prescriptions and dosages. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for receiving and verifying prescription orders, counting and measuring medication quantities, and labeling and packaging prescriptions. They may also provide information to patients about medications and assist with inventory management.

Difference between an EKG and Pharmacy Technician

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

EKG Technician:

  • Focuses on cardiac health and performs tests to monitor the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Works closely with physicians and nurses to assist in diagnosing and treating heart conditions.
  • Often employed in hospitals, cardiology clinics, and other medical facilities.
  • Requires strong attention to detail and the ability to accurately interpret EKG results.

Pharmacy Technician:

  • Concentrates on medication preparation and dispensing.
  • Works closely with pharmacists to ensure patients receive the correct medications and dosages.
  • Employed in pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings.
  • Requires excellent organizational skills and attention to detail to prevent medication errors.

EKG vs Pharmacy Technician: Job Description

EKG Technician:

As an EKG technician, your main responsibilities will include:

  • Preparing patients for EKG procedures by attaching electrodes and explaining the process.
  • Operating EKG machines to record the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Monitoring patients during EKG procedures and alerting medical staff of any abnormalities.
  • Assisting with stress tests and Holter monitoring.
  • Maintaining accurate records of EKG results for medical professionals to review.

Pharmacy Technician:

As a pharmacy technician, your main responsibilities will include:

  • Receiving and verifying prescription orders from healthcare providers.
  • Counting, measuring, and packaging medications for dispensing.
  • Labeling prescriptions accurately to ensure patient safety.
  • Providing information to patients about medication usage and potential side effects.
  • Assisting with inventory management and ordering medications as needed.

EKG vs Pharmacy Technician: Education and Training

EKG Technician:

To become an EKG technician, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates with post-secondary training in cardiovascular technology or a related field. While certification is not always required, obtaining certification from a recognized organization, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT), can enhance your job prospects.

Pharmacy Technician:

The educational requirements for pharmacy technicians vary by state. In many states, a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient, and on-the-job training is provided. However, some states require completion of a formal pharmacy technician training program and passing a certification exam. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offer nationally recognized certification programs for pharmacy technicians.

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EKG vs Pharmacy Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

EKG Technician:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing prevalence of heart disease and the aging population contribute to the demand for EKG technicians. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $59,410.

Pharmacy Technician:

The employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. This growth is driven by factors such as the aging population, increased demand for prescription medications, and advances in pharmaceutical research. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $34,020.

Final Thoughts

Both EKG technicians and pharmacy technicians play vital roles in the healthcare industry. The choice between the two professions ultimately depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. If you have a passion for cardiology and enjoy working with patients to monitor and interpret heart activity, a career as an EKG technician may be a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you have a keen attention to detail and enjoy working with medications to ensure patient safety, a career as a pharmacy technician may be more suitable. Regardless of which path you choose, both professions offer opportunities for growth and make a positive impact on patient care.

Uncover the opportunities with Dreambound's programs, available in different locations. Dive into these two vocations by checking:

Alyssa Jane
Written by
Alyssa Jane

Alyssa Jane is part of the customer success team at Dreambound. She works with students, training providers, and employers, helping them have a smooth customer journey. She is also an ESL tutor and Licensed Psychometrician. She is fond of traveling, photography, and discovering new restaurants.

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