The Job Description of a Monitor Technician

Save

A monitor technician is rather like a cardiac watchdog, who keeps a careful eye on the heart rhythms of patients. Specialized training allows these technicians to recognize abnormal patterns, changes in blood pressure, pulse rate and other vital signs, then document changes. They do not treat the problems, but they notify the nurse responsible for the patient and continue to monitor the situation.

Skills and Characteristics

  • A monitor tech must be able to watch multiple patient monitors and respond quickly to changes. However, she must also be able to carry out other duties, such as answering the telephone, relaying messages to coworkers or documenting statistics. She must never become so absorbed in other work that she fails to watch the telemetry monitors. She must be able to manage her time well, communicate with both medical professionals and laypersons, and work in a potentially stressful environment.

Watching for Problems

  • The monitor tech’s primary responsibility is to watch for abnormal heart rhythms and other signs of a medical problem, such as heart attack. She must be able to recognize grossly abnormal and dangerous rhythms that could be life-threatening, as well as subtle changes over a longer period that may indicate deterioration in the patient’s condition. Once she recognizes an abnormality, she must immediately document the changes and notify the nurse, who will provide medical treatment.

Other Duties

  • Monitor technicians perform other tasks, such as applying cardiac monitor leads, maintaining or cleaning equipment, or setting up monitors when a new patient is admitted. Because they are typically based at a central nurses’ station, they may also be responsible for answering the telephone or performing clerical duties. Some monitor techs apply ambulatory cardiac monitors and teach patients how to use them. In some cases, the monitor tech is not physically present in the same room with the patient, but monitors from a centralized point in the hospital or even offsite.

Qualifications and Training

  • Qualifications for monitor techs vary according to the state and institution. Most organizations require a high school diploma and a post-secondary training certificate. Training typically includes a dysrhythmia course -- an educational program designed to teach students how to recognize both normal and abnormal heart rhythms. Computer literacy may be required, and some organizations prefer to hire monitor techs with experience. Monitor techs are not licensed, but professional certification is available from Cardiovascular Credentialing International and may increase job opportunities.

References

  • Photo Credit fivepointsix/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Define ED Tech in a Hospital

    ED tech is short for emergency department technician. A healthcare professional in this position assists emergency room doctors and nurses in delivering...

  • Patient Safety Job Descriptions

    Because hospitals are fundamentally focused on helping patients recover, any additional injuries caused by a hospital constitute a disaster. Registered nurses who...

  • Job Description of Hall Monitors

    Hall monitors work in elementary and secondary schools where they collaborate with teachers and administrators to create an environment that is safe...

  • Bus Monitor Job Description

    Bus monitors are responsible for assisting children with getting on and off of the bus safely. They must also make sure that...

  • Telemetry Technician Job Description

    Telemetry technicians spend their days and nights on the front lines of cardiac care, watching for subtle and not-so-subtle changes in heart...

  • Cardiac Monitor Technician Training

    Cardiac monitor technicians work in hospitals, heart institutes and outpatient facilities, where they monitor patients' heart performance. They look for lethal heart...

  • How to Become an EKG Monitor Tech

    EKG monitor technicians use EKG equipment to record and monitor a patient's heart rate. These recordings are used by physicians to diagnose...

  • How Do Heart Rate Monitors Work?

    Heart rate monitors work similarly to EKGs in that they measure the electrical activity produced by the heart. Find out how the...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!