use of ED tech/UAP/CNA in ED

  1. I'm interested in the use, duties, education requirements, and opportunities available for ED tech/UAP/CNA (whatever your facility may use as a title).

    Does your facility employ ED techs? What is the minimum level of education required? What kinds of duties are expected of them? Do they get con-ed specific to the ED or is it general to the facility for all CNA's employed. Is there/what is the incentive for seeking unit specific education? If there were a nationally recognized certification for ED techs, would your facility offer pay incentive to them to achieve it?

    I am toying with an idea regarding the development of standardized education/certification at the tech level. This is my informal way of asking if anyone else sees a need.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Shadelyn
    I work as a Nursing Assistant in an ED. I started with no previous medical experience just before I started nursing school. Some of my coworkers have their EMT, some have been Nursing Assistant on the floors and some have no experience and are not in nursing school. Other than some self training modules online about handwashing and patient safty there is no con ed.

    We are responsible for EKG's, transporting pts, call lights, bed pans, cleaning rooms, assisting with ambulation, vitals, CBS, and helping nurses with foleys combative pts. and other misc duties. We also stock the department with all supplies and linen.

    Hope this was helpful!
  4. by   rnmagnum05
    Thanks Shadelyn,

    This fits with what is happening at our hospital. I have noticed among the "young" tech staff, a lack of a sense of urgency that I think comes from a lack of knowledge about why we do what we do. The techs seem to be stuck in "floor" mode. Consequently, we lose some that are promising simply because they don't see why we are "so particular" about our care. I'm taking steps to fill the gap locally, but maybe it can be something that can be done on a greater level.
  5. by   TazziRN
    We have CNA techs in our ER, and they are invaluable. They break down charts, make the phone calls, translate, transport, basic wound care and dressings, assist the docs with splints and sutures........I know I'm leaving a lot of stuff out. Our requirement is that they be certed CNAs and have at least 6 months experience with pt care. If there was a national standard they had to meet, I would not be surprised to find out ours either meet it or come very close. I know that sounds like I'm bragging, but our techs are excellent.
  6. by   RNdudeNNJ
    in the ed i work in the techs are very much a part of the team. they all have to be trained emt's to work in the ed, but they also do ekg's, draw labs, assist with combative pt's, assist the rn's when possible, they stock the ed with supplies, they make sure the trauma bays are fully stocked, they go with the rn to the helipad to assist bringing down a trauma pt, they set up the suture equipment for the doc's, they splint pt's limbs, and i am sure there are the things i haven't mentioned. good luck in your future endeavors.
  7. by   YanRN
    I spent 1 1/2 years as a PCT (patient care technician) in our ED while in nursing school. The minimum requirements are one semester of nursing school, CNA or EMT. The techs in the ED are paid the same as on the floors and, as far as I am aware, do not have any specific continuing ed. Additionally, our facility does not pay more for certifications at this time, however, I know they are considering it for RNs and so might in the future.

    The techs in the ED do different things than on most of the floors. Techs draw labs, start foleys and straight cath, get EKGs, help transport pts to ancillary depts, get accu checks, remove sutures, assist with splints and other procedures, assist with NG tubes, assist with pelvics, perform chest compressions during codes, clean rooms, and stock rooms. Also, in our urgent care area the techs place orders in the computer and run rapid strep and urine preg tests. There are probably "other duties as assigned," but those are the main ones. Good techs can gain a great deal of awesome experience in the ED, and having been on both sides I can tell you that a good tech is a valuable asset to the dept. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.
  8. by   Shadelyn
    Quote from rnmagnum05
    Thanks Shadelyn,

    This fits with what is happening at our hospital. I have noticed among the "young" tech staff, a lack of a sense of urgency that I think comes from a lack of knowledge about why we do what we do. The techs seem to be stuck in "floor" mode. Consequently, we lose some that are promising simply because they don't see why we are "so particular" about our care. I'm taking steps to fill the gap locally, but maybe it can be something that can be done on a greater level.

    At our place it isn't so much a lack of understanding, but a laziness and "It's not my job mentality" that plagues us. Be they old or young people at least half my coworkers fall into this category. There really isn't anyone watching over the "Aides" and because of this for the most part I find they pick and choose what they want to include as their job responsibilities. Frequent call offs and tardy's palgue our staff and no one seems to notice or care. I am a worker and I always have been, if something's not done when I leave I won't be able to sleep at night. Therefore I usually end up doing the brunt of things that can get put off until later. Nothing ever happens to the lazy ones that fail time and time again to do their jobs.

    I think in order for this role to be utilized to it's fullest that a nursing school or EMS background must be sought. In addition I think that this role needs a strong accountable leader. If a few people lost their jobs maybe the rest would straighten up or leave on their own.

    Just my opinion.(sorry for the rant!)
  9. by   rnmagnum05
    I see some of what you describe as well. The optimist in me wonders if providing monetary incentive to learn/advance would help fight that attitude.

    I worked as an "aide" way back when. I was young and excited to learn everything. I know there are generational differences in work ethic compared to back in my day. I am hoping to find a way to inspire a sense of initiative. I know we may never find that sense in some.

    If we can't inspire the individual, maybe we can at least have each member of the team speaking the same language and looking out for the same potential problems that might arise specific to the patient.

    Thanks for all your input and feel free to rant in a safe place anytime.
  10. by   Shadelyn
    I don't know how much your Tech's make, but I know some of ours make upwards of $13/hr. Here that's only $5 below starting RN pay. I don't think there's enough money in the world to make people work if they aren't the right person for the job. I think it's all in the hiring/orientation. Hire the right person and introduce then into a system where they are accountable for their actions and are trained by peers that are good at their job. I know some of our promising new people were great until it was explained to them that, "We can't do everything the RN's ask us to because that makes then lazy" or "You shouldn't do any extra work because then they'll always expect you to do extra"

    I dunno just my take.
  11. by   Sirkraker
    I work as a tech in the ER for going on my 5th year. Myself and my coworkers are all CNA or EMTS. i am sure 90 percent of us are also in nursing school. We do the work the nurses dont want to do.

    Job duties
    EKG, Blood draw, splints, vitals, code assist, just about anything besides giving meds. I am paid crap. I know however it is helping me alot for my future. I start nursing school October.
  12. by   cardiacRN2006
    As a female, my greatest assesst as a PCT in the ER was assisting with pelvics. I must have assisted with hundreds.

    Plus all the other PCT stuff previously mentioned.
  13. by   new er nurse
    I know some of our promising new people were great until it was explained to them that, "We can't do everything the RN's ask us to because that makes then lazy" or "You shouldn't do any extra work because then they'll always expect you to do extra"

    OMG is that true. I started out as a CT while in nursing school and worked my tail off. The attitude of some of the older CTs is you can do it yourself. If there was some kind of accountability for CTs it would be wonderful. There are "workers" and they are invaluable. I just get tired of being told "do it yourself" and nothing being done when they are turned in. (Just my rant!)

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