I work in a multispecialty ICU in New England- we use something similar to the Critical Care Tech's that you mentioned and they work out great- as an ADDITION to RN staff, not a substitution. They draw cultures and labs if the poor folks don't have a central line, help transport, change suction cans out and help turn. That all sounds fairly menial but most of them are EMT's or paramedics looking for more stable hours or educational benefits and have great insight. They are great to have around during codes. Rumor has it they won't be around after the next round of budget cuts and they will be missed. On the other hand, we have had float techs from non critical care areas who were overwhelmed by the equipment and beeps- and worse, those who weren't overwhelmed by them and should have been. With good training and rapport, they're an awesome addition.