Several students are now ready to begin their careers in medicine. 

Recently, 100 percent of students enrolled in College of the Mainland's (COM) Electrocardiography (ECG) Technician program passed the National Health Career Association (NHA) exam.

"The exam is extensive," said Instructor Tariss McGilberry. "The material pertains to how the heart works, what its purpose is, and everything that can go wrong."

Fortunately, COM students are well prepared.

Established in October 2010 and offered through the college's Continuing Education-Allied Health program, the 60-hour, fast-track course is an introductory class in which students learn the fundamentals of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology as well as electrocardiography procedures and interpretation of basic dysrhythmias. 

"There are 15 different disorders; we teach the students to recognize each of them," McGilberry continued. "They also learn about the different medications used for heart dysrhythmias, as well as how they affect the heart and other problems they may create. 

"Students learn how to read and interpret strips, while learning how to attach the monitor, lead wires and electrodes. We really try to incorporate practical knowledge and skills in our curriculum," she added.

Upon completing the program and passing the NHCA certification, students are qualified to obtain employment at hospitals, physicians' offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories, good news for an industry the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow 29 percent in the next ten years.

"Many of our students have secured employment in the Houston Medical Center," McGliberry added, "and with the way the medical community is growing in our area, I do believe there will be a demand for quality EKG technicians in the near future. 

"This is a great career field with great opportunities."

For additional information regarding COM's ECG program, visit