An EKG is a simple test that records in real time electrical activity of the heart. A normal EKG will represent a short six to twelve second event of what your heart is doing.
An EKG shows how fast the heart is beating; if the heart is beating too fast or too slow; or if the beats are regular or irregular. Your physician can also determine is you are having a heart attack based off of certain criteria that will cause your EKG to take a certain shape.
Your physician will want an EKG on you for many reasons including, but not limited to:
- to keep a baseline EKG for your chart to have for comparison if something looks abnormal down the road
- if you complain of dizziness or lightheadedness to see if your heart is too slow
- if the heart sounds irregular on exam.
- if you complain of “palpitations”
- if you are complaining of chest pain
The test is very simple and easy to complete. A nurse or medical assistant will prep your chest, which may include cleaning with an alcohol wipe and shaving excess chest hair, for patches that adhere temporarily to the skin. Then electrodes are attached to give us the electrical reading. The patches are removed and then an interpretation of the EKG is completed.