The techs in the ED are often paramedics so they are invaluable. In the ED everybody works up to their skill level and beyond, I think, so having techs who can do IV's and other higher level tasks is great.
There are those techs who make me smile when I see them because I know it's going to be a good day. There are others who are useless. You just have to know who you're dealing with and how competent they are.
I was a tech before I finished nursing school and it has made me a better nurse. But I also expect much more from the techs, too, because I know I worked my
off as a tech, because I wanted experience. So if you know what their motivation is sometimes you are able to use that to your benefit. I had a tech yesterday who wasn't very experienced at drawing blood, and had a 55 year old man with diverticular abcesses (there's one you don't see every day!). I went into the room with her and helped her draw the blood, even though we were insanely busy. She is a student graduating in May; she needs to develop this skill! It also helped that this gentleman was African American, because in our hospital the typical patient is 75, white, female, widowed and Catholic. This gentleman also was rather anxious about blood draws/IV starts, etc, but said that she did a good job. I told him that HE did a better job and his patience is to be admired.
So she got a great experience with an untypical patient who boosted her confidence. She'll remember that this, and that makes me feel good, especially since I'm still on orientation in my ER.