The Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) is best obtained by individuals working in the areas of ECG (electrocardiogram), Holter monitoring, and stress testing. There are four different CCTs available. Regardless of the certification being applied for, all applicants must hold a high school diploma or the GED (General Education Development) equivalent at the time of their application. Varying application requirements of the four different types of CCTs are as follows:
1. The CCT1 examination requires the applicant to be a current student or a graduate of a cardiovascular or allied health training program. To support this standing, the student must be able to submit a program completion certificate and/or educational transcripts, or a student verification letter.
2. The CCT2 examination requires candidates to be currently or previously employed in the field of cardiovascular technology, or in an allied health field that is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). Submittal of an employment verification letter is required.
3. The CCT3 examination requires candidates to have obtained a graduate degree or an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in a field related to science or physical health. Prior to taking the examination, candidates must submit a completion certificate and/or student transcripts, or a student verification letter.
4. The CCT4 examination requires the applicant to have completed at least two years of volunteer service in the field of cardiovascular technology, and be able to provide documentation supporting full-time technical activities for those two years. An employment verification letter is required.
The following is a list of topics that can be expected on any of the four CCT examinations:
• Basic cardiovascular anatomy and physiology: 14 percent
There will be questions concerning the heart, circulation of the heart, coronary circulation, physiology, and anatomical terms.
ECG (electrocardiogram) techniques and recognition: 32 percent
The applicant will be required to define, identify, measure, explain, and analyze waveforms and ECG measurements. There will also be questions on ECG leads, as well as ECG, Holter, and stress testing instrumentation. The applicant must be able to recognize recording errors and recording artifacts, as well as patient and electrical safety hazards. Finally, the applicant must distinguish, interpret, and describe cardiac arrhythmias.
• Stress test techniques, indicators, and contraindicators: 11 percent
Expect to see questions related to stress testing, the interpretation of the exercise, ECG, ergometers, and pharmacologic factors.
• Ambulatory or Holter monitoring: 20 percent
The applicant must have a strong understanding of indications, contraindications, preparation techniques, lead placement and procedures, and interpretation of the monitoring results.
• Basic cardiovascular electrophysiology: 16 percent
This section covers conduction systems, refractory issues, transmembrane potential, and action potential.
• Cardiac medications and indications: 7 percent
The applicant must fully understand the categories of medications and indications that a patient may require.
General areas of knowledge that can be expected on the CCT examination include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cardiac valve function
- ECG calibration methods
- Single and 3-channel ECGs
- Relationship of cardiac output to heart rate and stroke volume
- Troubleshooting ECGs
- Cardiac cycle
- ECG measurement
- Blood flow
- Somatic tremor
- Electrical interference