If you or a loved one have been experiencing symptoms of heart distress — such as chest pain, a fast heartbeat, rapid pulse, and/or shortness of breath — your doctor may have recommended an electrocardiogram (EKG) screening. The procedure can also be conducted as part of yearly check-ups. In addition to lifestyle habits such as eating healthily and exercising regularly, an electrocardiogram can verify the health of your heart.
An EKG screening is a non-invasive test that records the rhythm of your heart. The procedure doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to do anything to prepare for it, and it only takes several minutes. When you arrive at our facilities, one of our nurse practitioners will attach small patches (called electrodes) to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. You will then lie down on an examination table, and the nurse will read your heart rhythm on a monitor that’s connected to the electrodes.
What can an EKG screening detect?
The heart is the hardest-working organ — since everything else in your body needs it to pump blood to them in order to work properly. However, certain health conditions can cause it to work too hard. An EKG can detect such an issue. Left untreated, this could lead to health complications and — in a worst-case scenario — to heart failure. Some of the things that can be detected through an EKG screening include:
- Abnormal heart rate
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Diagnosis of a heart attack
- Whether the heart is not getting enough oxygen
- Whether narrowed arteries are restricting blood flow
- Whether a treatment you’re currently receiving for a heart condition is working