What it is:

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test done to check for problems with your heart’s electrical activity. As a result of this test, the heart’s electrical activity is translated into line tracings on paper.

A health professional usually does the EKG, which is then interpreted by a doctor. EKGs can be part of a physical exam or during a series of tests.

Reasons for the Procedure:

- Check a heart’s electrical activity

- Determine the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations)

- Determine the cause of unexplained chest pain that that could be the result of angina, heart attack or inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis)

- Check to see how medicines are working and whether side effects are affecting the heart

- Evaluate if the heart chamber walls are too thick (hypertrophied)

- Determine if mechanical devices that have been implanted into the heart, such as pacemakers, are working properly and controlling a normal heartbeat.

- Check on the heart’s health when other diseases or conditions – high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes or family history of heart disease - are present.


How to Prepare:

-Inform you doctor of all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you are taking. - Take off all your jewelry from your wrists, arms and neck.

- Typically, men are bare-chested during this test, while women will wear a bra, T-shirt or gown.

- Stockings should be removed.



- You will be instructed to lie down on a table or bed

- Areas on your chest, arms and legs where small metal discs (electrodes) are going to be placed will be cleaned and sometimes shaved to provide a smooth, clean surface to attach the discs.

- Electrodes are attached to the skin on each leg, arm and on your chest.

- These electrodes are hooked to a machine that traces your hear heart’s activity onto paper.

- You will be asked to breathe normally and lie still during the test. At times you may be asked to hold your breath.

- During the test, you should not talk.


What to Expect:

There is no risk or pain associated with and EKG and it is not harmful in anyway – electricity is not sent into the body.



Typically this procedure takes ten minutes



You may get a rash or redness where the electrode patches were attached to your skin. This is a mild rash that typically goes away without treatment.

Usually you can immediately resume your normal routine unless advised otherwise by your provider.


 All of MMC Providers can perform an EKG.


"I would like to thank everyone that had participated in my care and in getting me in to be seen by Beth Riddle, so I could get the cocktail shot.  Very appreciative of everyone at the Dresden Specialty Clinic.  Thank ya’ll so much."