Er Tech?

  1. 0
    I know this is a "nursing" forum so I hope my non-nurse question isn't too intrusive

    I am a new CNA on a Med/Surg floor (3 months now ) . I had no medical experience before this job and so far think I am doing very well. I have aspirations of becoming a nurse but I realize that is a couple years down the road. As such I am trying to figure out my short-term goals.
    Like how can I learn the most? make more money? Etc.

    ER technician has popped up. The job sounds exciting and it seems like I could learn a ton of things that would help me when I enter into the nursing program. It would be months down the road but I wanna prepare as much as I can.

    Questions:
    How does an ER techs job differ from a CNAs? I know they do blood draws and EKGs, but what about the day to day routine of the ER from an ER techs perspective?

    What can I learn on Med/Surg that will help me in ER?
    Are there any books/Articles out there that will help me?

    Got any basic advice?
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    In my experience, the ER will not hire a tech that does not have lots of CNA experience. The posting may say no experience required, but when it comes down to it they go with more experienced CNA's or EMT's to fill the tech positions. It might be different in your area.
  6. 0
    Plebotomists do the blood draws not the ER tech. Or a tech with phlebotomy training. When hiring they look for experience as CNA, EMT and phlebotomist, and experience with EKG. Some places cross train as Unit Secretary too so you are basically a Jack-of-all-trades.

    Get plenty of experience as a CNA then go for EMT training then you can get a job in the ER. Even with that experience it might be tough to get hired in ER because that is where everyone else is applying!
  7. 1
    Every ER is different. Many hospitals no longer have phlebotomists, many do not require any phlebotomy training or any medical training whatsoever. The ER I recently left hired people with highschool diplomas and trained them themselves. Our techs were wonderful. They did vitals, lab draws, EKGs, Foleys and whatever else you needed. They could hang new bags of fluid on an existing IV (the RN got it out of the Pyxis and the techs were trained very specifically on patient ID and aseptic technique but really a monkey could hang a bag of fluid).They transported patients, helped clean them up or did it themselves if needed. My techs always helped with squad admits getting vitals and undressing the patients. They were just all around great help. If I had a good tech I knew no matter how busy it was my night would go well. Oh, they also set up for pelvics and assisted, set up suture trays, held the screaming suturee (usually 2 year olds) and did all the ortho stuff including OCLs (half casts), crutch fitting and training, bandages, wound irrigating. You name it. I'd probably cast it as a big step above CNA's in responsibility and scope of practice but again that depends on the ER. Our PSA's (patient service assistants) are more like a CNA they provided care such as feeding, cleaning, linen changes if needed but limited technical stuff. Now I know CNA's in LTC do a lot more technical things but that would be unusual for most ERs. Of course they paid the techs peanuts but it was a great stepping off point for them from an educational standpoint (hospital would send them to nursing school for free with a 2 year commitment to work as an RN once they graduated).
    lr0012 likes this.
  8. 0
    Thanks for all the info FlyingScot. You make a good point about every ER being different. Your ER sounds like an awesome place to start out.
  9. 0
    FlyingScot describes very well out ED also. Our techs are GREAT - we literally could not function without them! Many are also in nursing school. One of our techs just gave a wonderful in-service to all of us (RN's included!) on splinting techniques. Why? Because he is the BEST at it - even docs go to him asking which product would work best, etc. That is how good our techs are, and goes to show that no matter what your degree is, we can all learn from each other. It truly has to be a "team" department.
  10. 0
    DS390,
    If you are still interested in an ED tech position, I would suggest that you go down to the ED and speak with the Manager. Some hospitals "require" that you be an EMT or paramedic, but others do not. (I wonder, too, if the requirement might not be flexible if you show serious interest).
    When I was between my LVN and RN transition programs, I was hired as an ED tech in a large hospital in Texas. My experience there was incredible. It was fun and fast, an oh, the clinical experience I got. The first day I could barely find a Foley (or a place to put it!); in three weeks I could drop one in in the dark....I loved the job, and would recommend it to anyone.
    Again, go to the Manager of the ED, express interest, and maybe even offer to get your EMT certificate.
    If your current supervisor would agree to give you a referral, you may be surprised that you get hired sooner rather than later. Good luck!
  11. 0
    So nursingrox you worked as an ED tech when you were an LVN? because I just got hired as an ED tech and I will be testing for the LVN soon. How did that work out for you?
  12. 0
    Faeriewand, I was a brand new LVN, really just a new-grad. I had never worked as an LVN, and was not hired in the ED as an LVN. But I had clinical experience that included the skills they needed.
    My classmates went to long-term care facilities, but I wanted something different, so I waited and watched....
    It has turned out to be an excellent decision. Now that I have graduated from the ADN program, I have the ED experience that I think will open a door for me.
  13. 0
    In our ER, the Techs are licensed paramedics. They can do everything the nurse can except give drugs.


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