If you suspect your patient is suffering from a heart condition, there are a few tests you can run to further identify the problem. These tests will help you locate and examine various symptoms, allowing you to make a proper diagnosis and get your patient the specific treatment they need. In addition to any of these tests, you will also need to perform a patient physical, perform blood tests, and ask about personal and family medical history. This information allows you to make more educated decisions about what your patient needs. You can learn more about the most common medical tests to diagnose heart conditions with this overview.
An echocardiogram is a noninvasive exam that uses ultrasound technology to scan and examine the heart and chest. The detailed images you receive from an echocardiogram allow you to check the size of the heart as well as the valves and chambers. You can also study how well the heart is functioning as it expands, contracts, and pumps blood. The echocardiogram is a fast, painless procedure, especially when you use a high-quality, ergonomically designed echo exam table. As such, the echo exam allows you to learn more about your patient’s condition while keeping them as comfortable as possible.
Another medical test to diagnose heart conditions is the electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG. This exam allows you to read the electrical signals and impulses of your patient’s heart with a quick and painless procedure. All your patient has to do is allow you to attach the dots and wires to their arms, chest, and legs, and the ECG machine does the rest of the work of recording the heart’s electrical activity. An electrocardiogram is an effective way to determine how well the heart is beating. This exam will pick up any irregular heart rate or rhythms in your patient.
If you want to see how your patient’s heart handles physical exercise, you’ll need to perform a stress test. Like in an electrocardiogram, you will hook your patient up to an ECG machine that will read the electrical activity in their heart. The difference is that the patient is exercising during a stress test, usually by running on a treadmill or performing another basic activity. This test will allow you to see how well the heart responds to physical activity.