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EKG vs Surgical Technician

EKG vs Surgical Technician

When it comes to choosing a vocational training program, there are a wide variety of options available. Two popular choices are becoming an EKG technician or a surgical technician. While both careers involve working in the medical field, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore what it means to be an EKG technician and a surgical technician, as well as the differences between the two careers. We will also discuss the job description, education and training required, and the career outlook and salary potential for both professions.

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Introduction

The medical field offers a range of career opportunities, and vocational training programs are a great way to enter the workforce quickly. EKG technicians and surgical technicians both play vital roles in healthcare settings, but their responsibilities and training paths differ. Understanding the differences between these two careers can help individuals make an informed decision about which path is right for them.

What is an EKG and Surgical Technician?

EKG Technician:

An EKG technician, also known as an electrocardiograph technician, is responsible for operating electrocardiogram machines. These machines record the electrical activity of a patient's heart, providing valuable information to doctors and other healthcare professionals. EKG technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, and they often work closely with patients to ensure accurate readings.

Surgical Technician:

A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is a member of the surgical team. They assist surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the operating room. Surgical technicians are responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and assisting with surgical procedures. They play a crucial role in maintaining a sterile environment and ensuring the smooth flow of operations during surgeries.

Difference between an EKG and Surgical Technician

While both EKG technicians and surgical technicians work in the medical field, there are several key differences between the two professions:

Responsibilities:

  • EKG technicians primarily focus on operating electrocardiogram machines and performing EKG tests on patients.
  • Surgical technicians assist in surgical procedures, prepare operating rooms, and ensure the sterility of instruments and equipment.

Direct Patient Care:

  • EKG technicians have direct contact with patients, as they are responsible for attaching electrodes to a patient's body and monitoring the EKG machine during tests.
  • Surgical technicians also have direct contact with patients, but their primary focus is on assisting the surgical team during procedures.

Work Environment:

  • EKG technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities where EKG tests are performed.
  • Surgical technicians primarily work in operating rooms in hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, or other healthcare facilities where surgeries are performed.

Scope of Practice:

  • EKG technicians are not involved in diagnosing or treating patients. They provide the necessary data for doctors to make informed decisions.
  • Surgical technicians are not involved in diagnosing or treating patients either, but they play a more active role in the surgical process.

EKG vs Surgical Technician: Job Description

EKG Technician:

  • Operate electrocardiogram machines to record the electrical activity of a patient's heart.
  • Attach electrodes to the patient's body and monitor the EKG machine during tests.
  • Prepare patients for EKG tests and explain the procedure to them.
  • Ensure the accuracy and quality of EKG readings.
  • Collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals to interpret the results of EKG tests.

Surgical Technician:

  • Prepare operating rooms by sterilizing equipment and ensuring all necessary supplies are available.
  • Assist the surgical team during procedures by passing instruments and supplies to surgeons and nurses.
  • Maintain a sterile environment in the operating room.
  • Anticipate the needs of surgeons and other team members during surgeries.
  • Handle specimens and prepare them for laboratory analysis.

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EKG vs Surgical Technician: Education and Training

EKG Technician:

  • EKG technician training programs are typically short-term, ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
  • These programs cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, EKG machine operation, and interpretation of EKG readings.
  • Some programs may also include a clinical component where students gain hands-on experience in performing EKG tests.
  • After completing a training program, individuals may choose to become certified through organizations such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT).

Surgical Technician:

  • Surgical technician training programs are more extensive and typically take one to two years to complete.
  • These programs include classroom instruction as well as hands-on training in simulated operating room environments.
  • Students learn about surgical procedures, sterilization techniques, patient care, and anatomy.
  • After completing a training program, individuals may choose to become certified through organizations such as the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) or the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

EKG vs Surgical Technician: 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 healthcare needs.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, which includes EKG technicians, was $58,730 as of May 2020.
  • However, it is important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and certification.

Surgical Technician:

  • The demand for surgical technicians is also expected to grow, driven by advances in medical technology and an increasing number of surgical procedures.
  • According to the BLS, the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,040 as of May 2020.
  • Again, salaries can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and certification.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a vocational training program is an important decision that can shape your future career. Both EKG technicians and surgical technicians play crucial roles in the healthcare field, but their responsibilities and training paths differ. By understanding the differences between these two careers and considering your own interests and goals, you can make an informed decision about which path is right for you. Whether you choose to become an EKG technician or a surgical technician, both professions offer rewarding opportunities to make a difference in the lives of patients.

Dreambound's educational programs cater to a wide range of locations, ensuring accessibility for individuals eager to explore new horizons. Delve into a more comprehensive understanding of the possibilities within 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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