This is an example of what I personally went through during the test. It changes depending on the person. Please comment what you went through, if anything different happened.
I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink that morning because I was getting different rounds of blood work taken, but was allowed a small meal before the stress test. They asked me to bring comfortable clothes, and running shoes. When I got in, I was changed into a hospital gown, but my shorts and shoes obviously stayed on.
The intake person had me lay down for a while and hooked up electrodes to my chest and legs, and took my blood pressure. I was moved over to a treadmill machine and a fan was aimed at me and turned on. She had the machine start very slowly so I was walking at a very light pace. She controlled the treadmill through her computer. Slowly, the intake would make the machine go a little faster and with more tilt, and then would come check my blood pressure to see how my body was reacting to it.
The test ran at the hospital I go to, runs 25 minutes. No one has ever made it that long. I was having the test done as the beginning of my physical therapy. It happens in the beginning and then at the end of the program. The longest anyone has ever gone there is 22 minutes, who was an ex army corp. after the program. The slowest was 1 and a half minutes. I made it 12.
I was obviously very out of breath right away, and was surprised at how much easier it was than I thought it was going to be. I got a little dizzy if I looked off to the side of the room, but overall until near then end I was fine. In the end I was very very out of breath, light headed, and weak. I told the intake woman I was done, and she shut the machine off before I got off. Then she came over and helped me to the bed. When I got off the treadmill I became very dizzy and sweaty. I laid on the bed while she took my blood pressure again and let me calm my body down. And that was it. I was sent home! The whole process took maybe 20 minutes. You do get feeling crappy, but I felt no where near as bad as I expected.