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Electrocardiogram (EKG)

The electrocardiogram (ECG, or commonly known as EKG) is a painless cardiology test that records electrical signals from your heart onto a paper strip. The pattern of these signals can help your heart doctor detect and study many heart problems, including heart attacks, arrhythmias and heart failure.
Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides exceptional cardiology diagnostics for our heart and vascular patients. Our cardiologists use the latest technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis so we can provide you with the best course of treatment available.

What to Expect During an Electrocardiogram Test

The EKG is a simple test that takes about 10 minutes.
When you come in for your EKG, wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the chest. Also, allow enough time before your ECG to check in. You will likely need to fill out paperwork before the test. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking because some can affect the results of the test.
During the EKG procedure:
  • You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and to put on a gown. You will then lie down on your back
  • Electrodes (small pads) are placed on your chest, shoulders, and legs
  • The electrodes record your heart rhythm and any change in your heart's signals that occurs during the test
  • After a few minutes of recording, your doctor or the technician will remove the electrodes.


After the test you can resume your normal activity. The results are sent to your doctor. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointment.