Stress Test

Stress tests measure the heart’s response to increasing work levels during exercise on a treadmill.  It helps the cardiologist evaluate the cause of chest pain, or measures the strength of your heart after a heart attack or surgery.

Getting Ready

  • Eat a light breakfast, avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, cola and chocolate (this includes both caffeinated and decaffeinated)
  • If you are on a beta blocker for blood pressure control, please check with your PCP for advice on possibly stopping this medication prior to this test. 
  • Take all other medications as prescribed on the day of the test with a small amount of water
  • Bring a list of your medications with you
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing. Women should wear a bra for comfort. No sports bras
  • Wear sneakers or walking shoes
  • Bring eyeglasses if needed to fill out forms

What to Expect

You will be given a hospital gown and asked to undress from the waist up.  An area of your chest will be cleaned with a prepping agent and alcohol.  If necessary, your chest will be shaved.  Cardiovascular technicians will take a series of EKGs and resting blood pressures.  You will walk on a treadmill (moving walkway).  The treadmill starts slowly, and the speed and incline are gradually increased.  Your EKG and blood pressure are monitored throughout the test. A medical professional will be present while you are on the treadmill.

After the exercise period, you will be assisted back to the bed and your EKG and blood pressure will continue to be monitored.    During the procedure, if you feel any chest discomfort, headache, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea or shortness of breath, let the cardiovascular staff know about it. 

The entire test takes approximately 1 hour.


 Patient taking stress test in cardiovascular department


Stress tests are a vital component in
diagnostics of the heart.


After the Test

You can eat and drink once the test is finished.  You will be able to drive yourself home.  The physician who ordered the test will receive the results.  Check with your medical provider to find out when the results will be available to you.


Cardiovascular Services – (508) 422-2460 

Find Care


Patients should call to pre-register up to two weeks in advance for any scheduled surgery and out-patient appointment including most diagnostic tests, lab work and pre-operative testing. This eliminates the need to wait for an admissions representative upon arrival. Patients can go directly to their point of service. Admissions representatives are available to take calls from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Please call 508-422-2222.

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