Help with EKG Machine Anxiety

As a medical professional, you know EKG tests are simply a matter of hooking up electrodes and taking readings from the EKG machine. However, some people can develop diagnostic anxiety and an upset patient can have an effect on the results. Here is useful information to provide your patients before this test, to help put their minds at ease.

Your EKG Test
Your doctor is ordering an EKG test for you. First thing, relax, because this doesn’t mean you have a serious heart condition. In fact, when you get a certain age, these tests are routine. There is no reason to be overwhelmed by the EKG machine or the technician.

Why Take an EKG Test?
An electro cardiogram is an initial test to check the electrical functions of the heart. It can help determine if your heart is working as it should. For example, a heart attack or abnormality in the heart may show up on the EKG machine. Your doctor wants to know what is going on inside your chest. In addition, your physician may order other testing procedures.

What Happens During Your EKG Test?
When you get to the test area you may be asked to lie down and remove your shirt, blouse and pants. This is necessary because the technician needs to connect electrodes to your skin to measure heart electric pulses.
Your technician will attach sticky patches with metal connectors to the chest, arms, and legs. First, he or she may rub the area with alcohol and then apply the patches. If you are a man with a lot of chest hair, your technician may offer to shave spots where the electrodes will be attached. This can lessen the pain of hairs being pulled when the test is over.
Nextm the technician takes wires which run to the EKG machine and connects them to the patches on your skin. This is pretty much all which happens during the test. You will be asked to lie still while the machine takes the necessary readings. The entire test should not take much more than 10 minutes or so.

Preparing for Your Test
You will not have to fast or avoid water beforehand, as this will not have an effect on the test. It is recommended to wear clothing which can be easily removed and if you wear shorts, this will make it even easier. Please do not ask the technician if the test is fine or not. He or she is not there to read your test but only to administer it. Someone from your doctor’s office will contact you with the test results.

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