Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)

An Electrocardiogram, also called EKG or ECG, determines how well the electrical system of your heart is working. It records the speed, regularity, strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of your heart. These natural electronic signals cause the heart to contract and pump blood throughout your body. The process repeats with each new heartbeat. Your doctor uses the EKG/ECG to record current heart function, but can use it to detect many heart-related problems like arrhythmias (problems related to the rate and rhythm of the heart beat) or poor blood flow through the heart.

What to Expect During the Test

Twelve adhesive electrode pads are placed on your chest, shoulders and legs, to measure the electrical activity of your heart, which is viewed on a monitor. The impulses of your heart are then recorded on a graph paper and sent to your doctor.

This test is painless and involves no risk. It takes about 15 minutes to place the electrodes and complete the test.

After the Test

Should you experience chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back or dizziness, please call your doctor and 9-1-1.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: No special preparations are required for this test.
  • Food and Drink: No special preparations are required for this test.
  • Medications: No special preparations are required for this test.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed. For women, avoid wearing full length hosiery as electrodes need to be placed directly on the legs.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive on time for your appointment.