Telemetry Tech position VS. Nursing Assistant

  1. I was wondering if I could get some good feeback from some experienced nurses as to which position would be more valuable for my future. I am a nursing student (RN) and have the opportunity to work as a Nursing Assistant on a heavy med-surg/ortho floor OR as a Telemetry Tech. My ultimate goal as I become an RN, is to be in the ER or a Critical Care Unit. I have one year left as a student and I want to use it wisely. THANK YOU!!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   UM Review RN
    I'd pick the Tele Tech position, for the following reasons:

    1. It'll make you more marketable to a CCU as a new RN grad.
    2. It'll be less physically taxing, so you can study more effectively.
    3. You will learn CNA skills as an RN, but just starting out, you will not know as much about EKG monitoring as you will with the Tele tech position.
    4. You might earn a little bit more.
  4. by   andre
    Quote from mom2three
    I was wondering if I could get some good feeback from some experienced nurses as to which position would be more valuable for my future. I am a nursing student (RN) and have the opportunity to work as a Nursing Assistant on a heavy med-surg/ortho floor OR as a Telemetry Tech. My ultimate goal as I become an RN, is to be in the ER or a Critical Care Unit. I have one year left as a student and I want to use it wisely. THANK YOU!!
    I worked on a tele floor as a unit secretary/monitor tech while in nursing school. Never worked as an LNA. And guess where I started as a new grad RN? On my tele floor!

    If your interest is in cardiac or in critical care, I'd do the monitor tech position. If you're leaning more towards general med/surg, I'd take the LNA position. BOTH are good experiences, of course! But you'll get a really solid dysrhythmia foundation if you become accustomed to watching those monitors...just my .02!
    Andrea
  5. by   Karen
    I agree with all four reason Angie o Plasty listed. All the new grads where I work are fretting about taking ACLS because of the rhythms. The other job would be a great learning experience also but I would take the tele job.
  6. by   SCRN1
    I also agree with what the others said. In addition to that, if you have Critical Care in your last semester as I did, it will help you there too. You will get to "witness from afar" codes going on and can ask questions about it after things have calmed down. Also, you'll be surprised at all you will learn just from listening to what the nurses are talking about. With all this experience, in addition to learning tele, it'll make more sense in class what you're being taught there. While at work (no matter where you choose), ask nurses questions about things you don't understand in class. Of course, don't do this while they're extremely busy. Most nurses I know of don't mind helping a student out. They've been there themselves and I usually feel that the students who want to learn all they can end up making a pretty good nurse.
  7. by   LanaBanana
    I am a CNA on a telemetry floor, and will be working there after graduation. My 2 cents on this is that our monitor station is completely separate from the nurses station and the tech is really by themselves all day. They don't hear the day-to-day stuff going on about the patient, such as meds, procedures, dx's. Yes, they know rhythms which is important, but I feel like I get a lot more practical nursing-type experience. I will be taking a basic arrythmia class at the hospital in January though and am very excited about it.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  8. by   AuntieRN
    If you want to be a critical care/ER nurse when you finish school I would say monitor tech. I don't know about your school but ours only spent about 3 days on reading strips and the different arrythmias etc...I have no clue now...the only one I can identify without a doubt is sinus rhythm. I have to take a 3 day course on EKG interpretation now before I can take my ACLS. We have tele pts on our floor so I thank god for the monitor techs...because I can tell if the reading is not normal but have no clue what it is...good luck in whichever choice you choose.
  9. by   cjr2841
    Hi
    My name is Carol and I have been a CNA for 5 years, but just left long-term care to work in a hospital on a med-surg. floor. Does anyone in Central NY (Syracuse area) know where I could take classes to learn to be a telemetry tech, and how does the pay compare to CNA? Do I have to have a degree? Thanks
    Carol
  10. by   **LaurelRN
    i worked as a tele tech before i went to nursing school. after starting nursing school, i moved to a nurse tech position, and tho it was $1.50 more an hour, let me tell you, it is alot of physical work. this is not about laziness. if i had it to do over, i would stay as a tele tech because- tho when u work as a nt, you get practical nursing experience- it is practical cna experience that is really not translated into nursing- and you are so tired by the time you go home-- forget about studying. another thing is that the other techs you work with treat you differently once you become a nurse. they sort of expect you to still do "tech stuff" because you did it before.
    just my ....
  11. by   al7139
    Hi,
    IMHO, either one has advantages and you should consider them in relation to being a nurse.
    It really helped me to be an assistant on a unit while I was in school because I saw daily what nurses really do, and although I myself did not get the hands on experience like in clinicals, I was less nervous about asking the RN's I worked with questions, and I got to watch them do things you don't always see in school. They knew I was a student, so would go out of their way to get me for a procedure, explain what they were doing, etc. Really helpful for "Real World" nursing.
    On the other hand, I now work on a tele unit, and the experience of being a monitor would have been invaluable to me. BUT, as an RN on a tele unit, I use my monitors as a great resource for what I don't understand. I call them often with questions about a funky rhythm, etc. They all know me by name, and they are really great at answering my questions, so I don't feel like it was really necessary for me to have that experience prior to being a nurse.
    Hope this helps.
    Amy
  12. by   HoneyDinkley

    Could any of you folks who have worked as Telemetry Techs please let me know what the starting salary is for your location? I just applied for a part time position here in Florida but I don't have any idea what the starting salary is. I don't wanna get cheated out of what I deserve. I am a CNA, just received my license 2 months ago. But I have over 10 years of office work experience and hospital volunteer experience.
  13. by   Lorien_LPN
    I have been a monitor tech for about two years now and I can tell you that you learn your rhythms extremely well. I also think that it is an excellent school job. Although being a CNA on a floor can give you valuable experience, being a monitor tech will give you a very specific skill set you can market to future employers.

    And to those people who are asking how to become a monitor tech, whee I work you have to take a basic dysrhythmia class and pass. We get paid about 0.50$ to 1.00$ more an hour than CNA or PCTs out on the floor.
  14. by   HoneyDinkley
    ok but what is the starting salary?

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