Electrophysiology Technologist, EP Tech, Electrophysiology Technician - Whatever the Name, a Good One is Worth Their Weight in Gold

The cardiac electrophysiology technologist (or technician depending on who you talk to) can play an invaluable role on the EP medical team.  Electrophysiology utilizes a series of catheters (different medical technology than cath lab catheters) that have electrodes on the end to measure electrical signals.  During an electrophysiology study, the medical team will place the catheters in the heart and induce the arrhythmia to study the heart while it’s beating out of rhythm.  The electrodes record the signal timings at certain anatomical landmarks while the heart beats.  Cardiac electrophysiology technology can interpret these readings and draw a 3D thermal map of the heart for the Electrophysiology doctor (electrophysiologist).  Utilizing either radio-frequency ablation or cryoablation catheter therapy, the team will burn or freeze cardiac tissue that may be causing the arrhythmia.

Why Work with Phoenix?

Unlike other staffing agencies, at Phoenix we tell you the bill rate of your assignment. On top of that, we don't profit on your extra hard work (OT, CBOT, DT, On Call Hours) - we only cover our costs of Worker's Comp and taxes.

Electrophysiology technology has made the traditional roles of nursing and allied health outdated. Knowledge is ability.

In the cath lab, the team functions have been defined by licensure for decades. Granted it can differ a little bit state to state, but generally the circulating role is done by the nurse because the RN license allows them to administer medications (usually within an IV drip) and the imaging and scrubbing role has traditionally been done by a technologist with a radiologic license (not required to scrub, but many cath labs will ask the tech to perform both roles at once).

In the EP lab, cardiac mapping technology has progressed so rapidly that sometimes equipment that necessitates a licensure and primary role on the cath lab team (Radiologic Technologist) is not necessarily as valuable in the EP lab because the 3D map technology can be sufficient (not to say plenty of EP labs don’t still use fluoro).

Therefore, roles on the EP team are less determined by licensure and more determined by knowledge and ability. Cath lab terms like circulating, scrubbing and panning the table are replaced with EP terms like stimulating, recording and mapping that don’t require a license to perform the function. The RCES is the industry standard for electrophysiology knowledge due to the comprehensive cardiac information, accessibility and affordability.

The RCES examination is affordable and accessible (more than IBHRE or HCC)

The RCES is offered monthly by the Cardiac Credentialing Institute and the registered exam fee is much lower ($365) than some other industry testing options (which can be offered only once per year at a cost over $1000).  Students of an accredited college with EP educational programs have a great head start.  There are online practice review questions on the website for CCI (cci-online.org).  From a travel career perspective, the RCES is the highest certification you’ll need to set your profile apart from the rest.  For more information on student exam requirements, please visit cci-online.org.

The International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners offers the CEPS and CCDS, which are both considerably more difficult and suited for cardiac device industry reps.  These cardiac electrophysiology exams however, are only offered once a year and are significantly more expensive (over $1,000).

We have the best cardiac EP relationships in the country and that leads to the most engaging and successful placements.

We’re calling you because we know that you are uniquely qualified and we know the value of your cardiovascular skill set and the best place to practice, learn and grow.

Why is Phoenix MedStaff a Trusted EP Travel Agency?

We’re serving the cardiac EP community because we provide REAL value...

We have over 5 decades of cardiovascular staffing experience – in Electrophysiology, Cath Lab and IR.  We have designed cardiovascular educational preparatory materials with some of the leading cardiac electrophysiologists in the world.  We dig into the details of your EP experience so that we can sell your Electrophysiology skills during the submission and lay early expectations for the job so the EP technician can participate in the advanced roles.  Without someone advocating on your behalf, you may not get those opportunities.

Traveling in Electrophysiology (either nursing or allied) is about finding the right assignment that will let the traveler truly engage – running the Bloom instead of just setting up the scrub tray. We know that electrophysiology lab managers and directors want this level of talent but it’s very hard to determine if the candidate has the right experience. The RCES credential is a common standard to test everyone on the same cardiac knowledge and opens new career opportunities.

When you travel with Phoenix, our value extends further than just helping pick a job...

It’s about working together to make life easier, which makes healthcare better. Once you leave the hospital, you are expected to manage your license expirations, health insurance, among many other things. We believe we offer best in class employee benefits:

  • We pay for your licensures (RN and Allied)
  • We pay for credentials (RCES, RCIS, IBHRE)
  • We pay for CPR (ACLS, BLS)
  • We pay for medical items when onboarding for an assignment

Top Tier Employee Healthcare, PTO & Retirement Benefits...

  • Insurances – Medical, Dental, Vision, ST Disability, Cancer, Accident and much more!
  • 4 different HSA / FSA options to supplement
  • 401K employer match of 5% – vested and starting Day 1
  • Extra 401K 2% match after 500 hours
  • PTO – vested and starting Day 1
  • Health Advocate Network – have a medical professional review any medical bill over $400, going line by line, code by code to save you money
  • Plus, ask the Health Advocate for mental wellness or legal advice!

Cardiac Education matters at Phoenix...

For allied health professionals in the cardiology, there are a ton of credentials available to you.  In our view, the RCES is the most universally recognized certification and available to the entire cardiac electrophysiology community.

To qualify to sit for the RCES exam, you must fulfill one of the following:

  • Two years of full-time or full-time equivalent work experience in cardiac electrophysiology
  • A graduate of a certificate or degree program in a health science (cardiovascular technology, ultrasound, radiologic technology, etc) AND one year full time work experience in cardiac electrophysiology
  • Students of registered cardiovascular electrophysiology school programs with 800 clinical hours (clinical hours must be under the school program, not work experience)
  • As a general rule, the RCES test material assumes participation in a minimum of 200 diagnostic & interventional cardiac electrophysiology procedures and 300 device implants (pacemaker, ICD, and CRT)

Click here to see the official list on the CCI website.

We know all the EP programs in the United States...

The types of medical recording equipment, the cardiac department organization…that info is not posted in your typical cardiac electrophysiology specialist job description but is absolutely critical to you feeling comfortable on your first day or feeling like you’re playing catch up.  These nuances are not as easy as travel floor nursing so a lot of agencies do not focus on cardiac electrophysiology.  But the details matter!

Am I ready for an electrophysiology technician travel job?

What is a registered electrophysiology specialist? What do they do?

The difference between a good tech and a great tech is the skill set and knowledge a tech brings to each and every case, the ability to anticipate the doctor’s next move, and the ability to adapt and change the type of case in an instant. Each job will expect a travel cath lab tech to be able to jump right in. A day of orientation, some time for the individual lab details and a few questions about physician preferences and it’s time to rock and roll.

How does the pay for EP technologist travel assignments compare to say… my lab tech salary?

Cardiovascular specialist jobs can be very lucrative, but travel agencies generally don’t use the term “salaries”.  So how do we compare?  In order to properly compare salaries to a travel job, you need to compare what gets deposited in the bank, less any extra expenses (like a second place to live while you work in another city).

Let's break it down...

Travel cath lab technologist pay, for example, would include compensation buckets for the following:

  • Taxable wages (most commonly compared to your earning wage at a hospital)
    • Separate rates for regular hours, OT and DT 
  • Stipend (tax free amount used to cover living expenses)
    • Usually capped by the weekly days or hours worked
    • 4 10 hour per day shift schedule will be capped at 40, while 3 12 hour per day shift would be capped at 36
  • Sign on or extension bonuses

Additionally, some extra expenses to include in your comparison:

  • Extra rent
  • Food
  • Parking or other professional services
  • The expense stipend is meant to cover these expenses

As a healthcare facility staff member, your lab tech salary is primarily comprised of:

  • Taxable wages
  • No tax-free stipend
  • Sign on bonuses available on occasion, but not regularly

Travel jobs are able to bestow tax benefits as some of the funds are used to cover secondary living expenses used in the course of work, however it makes rates hard to compare. The best way to compare a salary job to a lab tech travel job is converting the salary to an hourly rate and “grossing up” the stipend to compare all-taxable hourly rates apples to apples.

  • Salary of $120,000 = ($120,000 / 52 weeks / 40 hours per week) = $57.69
  • Travel Job with $35 taxable per hour and $1000 stipend per week
    • $1000 = $1000 / 40 hours per week = $25 / hour
  • We want to know how a $25 / hour nontax rate compares to a taxable rate
    • $25 nontax = $25 / (1 – tax rate)
    • Tax rate includes payroll taxes, income taxes (state and fed)
    • $25 nontax = $25 / (1 – 25%) = $33.33
  • To properly compare the staff wage of $57.69, the travel position pays a comparable rate of $68.33 ($35.00 plus $33.33)

Travel jobs usually refer to compensation as the “Gross Weekly”.  This is the amount that is all of your working hours multiplied by all of the wage rates, but does not include any additions for on call, OT, or CBOT because these are all “unscheduled” hours and you haven’t worked yet so the “Gross Weekly” estimate is just the scheduled hours (just regular hours).

When compared to a hospital job paycheck, the actual amount that gets deposited into your bank account is considerably higher due to the tax advantages of the stipend. 

Where are the highest paying travel EP tech jobs?

The age old question! From the CA islands of San Juan Capistrano to… well, actually we believe rates for travel EP tech jobs are based solely on need and skillset, not geography.

Electrophysiology travel rates are completely different than any other unit, even cath lab – there are no geographic trends, but rather organizational trends. Advanced electrophysiology clinicians are already working and the pool of people with the required knowledge is very very small so competition for full time help is fierce.

Some hospitals have their own cardiac electrophysiology departments, some combine with the cardiac cath lab…those differences play a major difference in electrophysiology travel staffing. Budgets, ideal candidate profiles all change when electrophysiology is separated. If it’s a combined Cath / EP job, that manager needs someone who can also scrub a STEMI for call which could eliminate a great cardiac electrophysiology specialist. Quite the tradeoff.

That’s how a dedicated Electrophysiology travel agency provides value. At Phoenix, we know which labs have separate departments, even if they are informally separate. We have direct lines of communication with the cardiac directors where we know that advanced mapping candidate can provide huge value and we can justify higher rates. We know the hospitals that appreciate electrophysiology skills and let travelers engage and…Bloom!

How do I know which cardiac electrophysiology technologist travel job is right for me?

The better question is…what can you get from the jobs that are on the job boards? Not a whole lot when it comes down to the nitty gritty. When it comes to electrophysiology, talking on the phone with one of our cardiac lab advisors is a must. Your full technologist experience cannot be fully captured by a resume or a web form. At the same time, employers can never succinctly put all of our details on the job boards either. We’ll hustle till the cows come home, but we want to know exactly what you can do and exactly how you want to grow and learn. That’s the formula for success.

Talk to an EP Travel Advisor - it’s free and we love to chat EP!

It’s how we get better!  We’re not exactly allowed to go into any ol’ lab and ask questions.  We live vicariously through you – and learn from you.  The more we hear you talk, the more we learn and the more we add to our FAQs.  And the more details we have, the better help we can give the whole community.

Interview, interview, interview!

Take a few remote interviews and hone the skills.  See how different cardiac programs run their travel staffing programs.  Each manager will ask different questions, so any additional practice makes perfect!

So, what are you waiting for?

Join the flock and get in touch with a recruiter today!

Apply Now