Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

About This Test

Having an ECG:

An ECG is a test performed in the Patient Service Centers and in some rural Health Center lab locations that records a tracing of your heart’s electrical activity through small   electrode patches that a lab personnel will attach to the skin of on your arms, legs and chest.

ECGs’ are safe and painless you will not feel any pain or discomfort. The electrode patches may fee cool when they are put on your chest.  It can take approximately 15 mins to 20 mins to attach the electrodes and complete the test.

Visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca for more information.

APL Patient Service Centers do not perform STAT ECGS.

Physicians should not send symptomatic patients to the Patient Service Centers for STAT ECG testing.

Symptomatic patients should be directed to the nearest Emergency Department.

If your physician has ordered a STAT ECG or you are suspected of having acute coronary syndrome or serious arrhythmia. DO NOT GO TO A PSC GO directly to the Closest Hospital Emergency Department. 

How to Prepare

  • Appointments are encouraged but not required. Information on booking appointments can be found the Appointment Page
  • On day of testing DO Not Use lotions or creams as they can keep the electrodes from making contact with your skin and may interfere with the reading 
  • Wear comfortable clothing that can be easily removed or adjusted to provide access to your arms; legs and chest
  • Avoid wearing full length hosiery or tights when possible because electrodes need to be placed directly on your legs

What Happens during an ECG

Staff will: 

  • Accompany you to an ECG room 
  • Ask you to Turn off you cell phone
  • Ask you to undress from the waist up
  • Ask You to roll your pant legs  up to just below your knees 
  • Provide you with a paper vest or gown. (Put it on with the opening in the front.)
  • Ask you to state and spell your first and last name and give your date of birth
  • Ask you to lie flat on the ECG  bed
  • Staff will attach 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your arms; legs and chest

During the test:

  • You will lie flat and relax while the computer creates a picture of the electrical impulses that move through your heat
  • A family member or person accompanying the patient can remain with the patient upon the patient’s request

After the Test:

  • The electrodes will be removed. Staff can remove them or you can remove them if you prefer
  • The tracing results will be sent to your physician
  • Any questions regarding your ECG should be directed to you physicians
  • Staff are unable to provide results or determine why your physician has requested an ECG