A stress test, also known as an exercise test or treadmill stress test, demonstrates how the heart responds to the exertion of exercise, and can help to detect heart disease while determining safe levels of activity for a patient.
How is a Stress Test Performed?
To begin, please ensure that you’ve followed our patient checklist:
- Refrain from applying creams, and powders to the chest.
- Wear shoes (preferably running shoes) and clothing that you are comfortable exercising in.
- Shoes must be worn on the treadmill for safety purposes. No open toe sandles, dress or high heel shoes.
- If you take cardiac or blood pressure medication, please do not discontinue your medication prior to the test, unless instructed to do so by the ordering physician.
- Bring all current medications to the appointment.
- Do not wear any perfumes or colognes on the day of the appointment.
A stress test uses an electrocardiograph to monitor the patient’s heart rhythm and vital signs while they are exercising.
The patient’s skin will be prepped with alcohol, and chest hair may be removed to allow for proper adhesion of the monitoring electrode.
The patient will then be instructed to walk, or lightly jog, on the treadmill until the heart rate has reached a high enough level to record it as a stress test.
It is important for the patient to communicate any symptoms he/she may experience during the stress test to ensure the patient’s safety and wellbeing. The technologist will stop the stress test if the patient is unable to continue.
Once complete, the electrocardiograph is removed and results are analyzed.