Nurse Tech Position

  1. Hello all...I've been a good lurker for a long time and thoroughly enjoy all the knowledge and encouragement found in these pages.

    Anyway I have a question (several actually)... What is a nurse technician and what do they do? Have you any experience working with one and what would be good background experience for one who would like to become a nurse tech as a stepping stone up the ladder to becoming an RN?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Darlene K.
    In our facility, a nurse tech is a nursing student. They do things like vital signs, draw blood, assist with procedures. They are still under the supervision of the RN.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    In my facility a nurse tech is essentially a nurses' aide without the certification. I'm a big fan of any nurse learning from the bottom up. Ours can draw blood if they've been phlebotomy trained, but most aren't. They don't cath or do blood sugars - mostly it's vital signs, showering, bathroom detail, water pitchers, call lights. It's not glamorous work, but it's a good way to start getting a feel for whether you can handle the "icky" parts of nursing .

    I'd check with some facilities in your area and see what their job descriptions are.
  5. by   emily_mom
    The only thing that I can't do is IV push meds (can saline and hep), hook up PCA's, or hang TPN and lipids. I can insert IV's with a nurse there (but they trust my ability and let me do it alone usually). I do caths and everything else alone, but refer back to my RN with anything. Also, I have to ask my RN on any PRN meds requested by the pt.

    It's a wonderful learning experience. I take anywhere from 3-6 patients (depending on census). I also assist with procedures like the PCA so that I will know how to do it.

    I also do all of the personal cares on my patients. We have a few CNAs but they are assigned their own patients and we provide primary care at our facility.

    Kristy

    if you have any questions, feel free to pm me....
  6. by   MomNRN
    At the facility I worked for while a nursing student, there were different levels of "unit" techs. More responsiblity correlated with a increased tech level.

    I was an tech in the ER and they were fabulous at teaching me all kinds of stuff. The nurses were great! While my fellow students were fighting for IV starts during nursing school, I had already completed many. We were also taught how to do caths and NG's. These procedures were done with the nurse at bedside, but the IV's I completed on my own after demonstrating proficiency.

    The hospital also provide phlebotomy training, so I was able to do the majority of the blood draws that would be needed. It was great experience. I recommend it highly!
  7. by   Ortho_RN
    At the hospital I work at we are basically PCA's... Do vitals, help with baths, CBG's, I&Os, and depending on how much your nurse trusts you, they will allow you to do certain things under their watch...
  8. by   emily_mom
    I forgot to add that I also don't do admission assessments or expiration papers. I also can't sign off on the PYXIS.
  9. by   Tweety
    We have different levels of techs. They can be nurses aides, but with additional training can suction trachs and do trach care, start IVs (though few nurses surrender this activity to techs, and not many techs want to start IVs), do EKGs, and monitor telemetry.

    All of our aides are called "techs". It's a valuable learning experience for the wannabe nurse.
  10. by   Kendall G
    You guys are so gooood! Thank you for all of the replies...I have an opportunity to be hired as a tech after volunteering in the ER for about 6 months. The nurses have been so encouraging! So I'm gonna' go for it. I'll be in the clinical section of nursing school this fall, so after a summer of being a tech, I think I'll be in a position to really learn alot. Again thanks, and I hope when I have some experience, that I can return the favor.
  11. by   ThirdWorldGirl
    In my opinion nurse tech's are a life saver
  12. by   sphinx
    I've always worked with techs. None that did as much as some of the above posters mentioned, ours would do phlebotomy, check BG's, do vitals and I and O's, do personal care, things along those lines. When I worked at the birthing center, our techs also cross trained to work at the desk, as we did not have secretaries. Some techs got to cross train as surgical techs, which I think is an awesome experience, and if I'd have known about that pre-nursing, I'd have loved to have done that. I found our techs to be invaluable.
  13. by   Jay-Z
    i dont like this idea of a Nurse tech. it should be included in a Nurses role already. nursing is not and should not be NUrses taking the routine 'boring' jobs and handing them to students. if you do that then you have wasted a Students training. IF that is all a student does then when they qualify then they wont have to do it anymore.
    Nurses should always take this role on board. unless of course you work in day a clinic or somewhere where specimens are taken like every day routinely.
  14. by   moonshadeau
    As you can see the role of Nurse techs vary from place to place.

    I started as a nurse tech working in a nursing home on a medicare/long-term care floor. I worked weekends only. I was responsible for passing all the medications, doing all the treatments and even charting on some of the patients. I definately got my feet wet in that atmosphere, but as I progressed in my education, I realized that the actions that I was doing were 1. not legal and 2. my patients deserved better.
    Due to the fact that an RN was on the floor, but never cosigned anything and "trusted" my judgement.
    Suffice to say I don't work there anymore.

    But the sad fact is that nurse techs are becoming highly popular in long term care to solve staffing solutions.

    As for the hospital that I work in the nurse tech position is ever evolving. It started out by being a med-tech, IV starter,etc.
    But now a nurse tech is assigned to a nurse and they do team nursing together.

    So my advice, know what kind of program you are getting into.

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