EKG vs Phlebotomy

EKG vs Phlebotomy

In the field of healthcare, there are many different career paths to choose from. Two popular options are EKG (electrocardiogram) technician and phlebotomist. Both of these professions play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating patients, but they have distinct differences. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between EKG and phlebotomy, including job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlook. Whether you are considering a career change or just starting out in the healthcare field, this information will help you make an informed decision about which path is right for you.

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What is an EKG and Phlebotomy?

EKG Technician:

An EKG technician is responsible for conducting electrocardiograms, which are tests that measure the electrical activity of the heart. These tests help doctors diagnose and monitor heart conditions such as arrhythmias and heart attacks. EKG technicians use specialized equipment to record the electrical signals produced by the heart, and they work closely with doctors to interpret the results.


A phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who specializes in drawing blood from patients. They are responsible for collecting blood samples for laboratory testing, transfusions, donations, and research. Phlebotomists are skilled in locating veins, preparing the necessary equipment, and ensuring that the blood is properly collected and labeled.

Difference between EKG and Phlebotomy

While both EKG technicians and phlebotomists work in the healthcare field, there are several key differences between these two professions:

Job Focus:

  • EKG technicians primarily focus on monitoring and recording the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Phlebotomists primarily focus on drawing blood from patients.

Equipment Used:

  • EKG technicians use specialized machines and electrodes to record the electrical signals of the heart.
  • Phlebotomists use needles, syringes, and other equipment to draw and collect blood samples.

Patient Interaction:

  • EKG technicians often work directly with patients, attaching electrodes to their chest and explaining the testing process.
  • Phlebotomists also work closely with patients, but their interaction is generally shorter and focused solely on drawing blood.

Work Environment:

  • EKG technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, or diagnostic laboratories.
  • Phlebotomists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, blood banks, and research laboratories.

Scope of Practice:

  • EKG technicians are trained to perform electrocardiograms and interpret the results, but they do not typically administer medications or perform invasive procedures.
  • Phlebotomists are trained to draw blood and may also be responsible for processing and analyzing the samples.

EKG vs Phlebotomy: Job Description

EKG Technician:

  • Prepare patients for EKG testing by explaining the procedure and ensuring their comfort.
  • Attach electrodes to the patient's chest, arms, and legs, following established guidelines and protocols.
  • Operate EKG machines to record and interpret the electrical signals produced by the patient's heart.
  • Collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals to analyze and report the results.
  • Maintain and calibrate the EKG equipment to ensure accurate readings.


  • Verify patient information and ensure proper identification before collecting blood samples.
  • Locate suitable veins for blood collection and disinfect the area to prevent infection.
  • Draw blood using the appropriate equipment and techniques, ensuring patient safety and comfort.
  • Label and properly store the collected blood samples for testing or analysis.
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area and dispose of used needles and other medical waste properly.

EKG vs Phlebotomy: Education and Training

EKG Technician:

  • To become an EKG technician, you will typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Many community colleges and vocational schools offer EKG technician training programs that can be completed in a few months.
  • These programs provide hands-on training in performing EKG tests, operating the equipment, and interpreting the results.
  • Some states may require EKG technicians to be certified, which typically involves passing an exam.


  • The educational requirements for phlebotomists vary by state and employer, but a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required.
  • Many phlebotomy training programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals.
  • These programs cover topics such as anatomy, medical terminology, infection control, and venipuncture techniques.
  • Some states require phlebotomists to be certified, which may involve completing an accredited training program and passing a certification exam.

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EKG vs Phlebotomy: Career Outlook and Salary

EKG Technician:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, was $58,730 as of May 2020.
  • The BLS projects a 5% increase in employment for cardiovascular technologists and technicians from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The demand for EKG technicians is expected to grow as the population ages and the need for cardiovascular testing and monitoring increases.


  • The BLS reports that the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $36,320 as of May 2020.
  • The BLS projects a 17% increase in employment for phlebotomists from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The demand for phlebotomists is expected to grow as healthcare facilities expand and the need for diagnostic testing and blood donations increases.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare field is a noble and rewarding decision. Both EKG technicians and phlebotomists play vital roles in patient care, but they have distinct job responsibilities and training requirements. Consider your interests, skills, and long-term goals when deciding between these two professions. If you enjoy working with technology and have an interest in cardiovascular health, a career as an EKG technician may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you have excellent attention to detail and enjoy working directly with patients, phlebotomy may be the path to pursue. Whichever path you choose, both EKG and phlebotomy offer promising career opportunities with room for professional growth and advancement.

Dreambound extends its programs to diverse locations. Delve deeper into information about these two vocations by visiting:

Justine Tacmo
Written by
Justine Tacmo

Justine Tacmo is part of the Growth team at Dreambound. He assists the organization by updating critical information so students receive the most up-to-date information for their desired trade schools. Besides, he has a passion for writing and expresses it through poetry, covering themes of life, love, and mental health, which is also his advocacy.

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