Advice for ED Tech

Specialties Emergency


Greetings all!

I am hopefully about to start as an ED Tech in a local hospital. This ED sees about 170 pts in a 24 hours period so I would be busy. I want to learn. I am a firefighter/EMT and would love some advice for a person venturing into the world of ED medicine. They will tech me IV, blood draws, catheters, etc. I am really looking forward to the new experience. I figure to start, respect all, work hard, ask questions before doing something stupid. I am looking for further advice and guidance.



ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Welcome to the board! :D

Advice...the best advice is the stuff you already know; ask a lot of questions, admit when you don't know something, go in with an open mind and a good attitude toward learning.

Some good websites: (awesome, awesome site!) (they have a good IV start tips page too)

Good luck, and enjoy!



518 Posts

Once you get oriented and confident in your ablilities a good tech(or nurse for that matter) anticipates needs. See a situation and get things ready. Know what's going on and be ready. If you know someone that is triaged back is a laceration that needs sutured, set it up. If you see someone is going to need blood work go do it. Keep track of orders and anticipate what will be needed that is in your job description and do it. Don't wait to be asked all the time. This comes from experience and confidence and takes time but is important. I know you'll do fine. Best wishes!!


181 Posts

Being someone that has Teched for several years, I'll tell you what I can.

Don't Ghost! If you are constantly "not there" nobody will teach you anything; and your fellow Tech's will lynch you.

Be willing to do scut work. It kinda falls to the Techs and it is one of the many things that makes an ER run smooth.

Let people know you want to learn. Most places I've Teched at a lot of the Techs were drones so nobody offered to teach. 90% of the nurses were willing to teach if I was willing to learn.

Understand EMS and ER are alike but are still very differant.

#1 Have a good time, ER staff are good people!


35 Posts

Just an update... Thursday I was offered the job and I accepted. Had my pre-employment physical yesterday and will start my ED orientation on the 21st. I am very excited but at the same time a little scared. Hospital care is a different animal then pre-hospital EMS. Compared to a military uniform, scrubs and sneakers will be a change of pace as well.

Thank you for your advice and the links.


90 Posts

The ED is a fun and disgusting place but I assume you are a vet like me so it should feel like home. Good luck!


35 Posts

OK folks a follow up...

I have been working the ED floor now of a 38 bed ED for five days. What a fantastic place to be. I am blessed with being around so much talent to learn from. Right now I am one of the techs in training. I have seen so much in only five days. My first day I look at the monitor on the wall in a room and it just looked like a mass of cables and readouts. Now after five days I can acutally use this machine to set up BP, pulse ox, 12 lead, etc. I am slowly working through my nursing education and this tech job has been an answer to my prayers. And yesterday I did my first blood draw and an IV. To me, you folks are amazing!!! I belive the RNs have accepted me as they now look for me to assist with procedures I have not observed or assisted with yet. I really look forward to continuing in emergency nursing. Once again, you folks are amazing to me.

Take care,



11 Posts

Ed, Like you I started out being trained in pre hospital medicine. I got to the intermediate level on my way to paramedic. Then I got a job at one of the local area hospitals and transported patients for radiology for a year while waiting for a job opening in the ER. I was fortunate to learn alot just transporting patients. After a year went bye, I got hired into the emergency department where I worked for the next 7 years. In that time, I'd seen and done an amazing amount of things. I knew early on that I wanted to do more than what was allowed within my scope of practice, so I went to nursing school. Working were I did for as long as I did prior to going through school made me much stronger and more comfortable around patients......If nursing is something your interested in doing than my advise to you would be to keep up the good work, but be careful to stay within your scope of practice. Most states do not let ER Techs. start IV's and draw Blood. As a tech you will be asked to do things that are not within your scope of practice inside a hospital facility. As an EMT- Intermediate, I could preform certain skill outside the hospital that I was not allowed to do inside. Once your in an acredited school and finish the first semester, you can become an apprentice nurse which will expand your scope of practice. (check it out with your local state board of nursing to make sure you won't get into trouble) "Been there, done that" don't jepordize any future lic. you may want.. anyways enjoy your work, and work safely...........Former ER RN..


35 Posts

Thanks for the info. You are right on, I need to always only practice within my scope. As long as I am in the ED I can start capped IV and draw blood. I am working on my nursing degree and I want to be an ED RN. The dept manager has already said that if I work out well as a tech, she will offer me nurse intern.

I am going to keep saying my prayers and work hard.


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X