The Heartbeat of Prince County Hospital: A Day in the Life of ECG Technicians

A chat with Kristine Heer, ECG Technician, Clinical Lead at Prince County Hospital and ECG technician Mindy Bryan 

Electrocardiograph technicians, also known as ECG techs, capture crucial snapshots of the heart's activity, providing doctors with essential information for diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions.

“Our role is to provide the physicians with the best quality ECG possible so that they can diagnose appropriately,” said Kristine. "We perform non-invasive cardiac testing: electrocardiograms, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, 24-48 hour Holter monitoring, and event recording."

ECH techs also assist physicians in doing stress tests to show how the heart works during physical activity.

Yet, their work goes beyond heart attacks. "We see patients for a wide range of symptoms," said Mindy. "Fainting, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath – or women experiencing different cardiac symptoms like neck, back, or jaw pain."

"We catch things that can lead to life-changing interventions, like pacemaker insertions,” said Kristine.  “Our role is to provide physicians with the best quality ECG possible so they can diagnose appropriately."

A typical day for an ECG tech is anything but typical. "Depending on how many staff are in that day... my day started at eight o'clock with the phone ringing," Kristine shared. "If you're carrying the phone you get a lot of steps in and it's just a lot of back and forth going from unit to unit."

Despite the challenges, both Kristine and Mindy love working at PCH. "The staff here is fantastic," said Mindy. "Everyone gets along, and we have each other's backs." Kristine agreed. "We have a small staff, but the work we do is incredibly important."

For those considering a career in healthcare, ECG technology offers a unique opportunity. "You're never tied to one place for too long," said Mindy. "You're always meeting new people and helping to solve their issues."

"It's nice to be able to dabble in a few different things throughout your day. We get to work with doctors, patients, and different departments. It's never dull!"

ECG technicians are crucial to capturing the cardiac snapshot that leads to a life-changing diagnosis or treatment. As Kristine put it, "Our little department here is an incredible piece of our health care system."

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Published date: 
June 8, 2024
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