Best Choice: Nurse Tech or Monitor Tech?


Hello, All:

I am currently a nurse tech in my first semester of an ADN program. I work on a med/surg floor and have been exposed to many great learning experiences. I also took a phlebotomy class with my pre-reqs just to have a broader experience and job skill (although I don't get to use it). I have the opportunity to take a telemetry class in Feb. which will be my 6 month employment mark @ the hospital, so I will be able to apply for another job.

My question is, would the telemetry job be a good move for more experience? My pauses with the tele job are that I am afraid that I will miss alot of experiences that you only get with working directly on the floor, and a med/surg floor is the greatest when it comes to seeing everything! Also, my nurse mgr. has been nice enough to let me work Fri, Sat, and Sun only (7p - 7a) so that I will be free during the week for classes/studying. I don't know if I would lose that if I xfer to another job area. Also, the 2 day tele class is only offered during the day on a Tues and Wed, and my lecture and skills lab class are on Wed, so I would have to miss that one day of class. I can make up the skills lab but not the lecture. Also, once I pass Nur101, I will be getting a higher pay grade as a student nurse tech which I could really use right now! I haven't checked out the pay for tele tech yet.

With that, I would like to take the tele class because I want an indepth knowledge of learning the different waves because I have an interest in cardiac nursing or maybe one of the different ICU areas, the job is a "sit-down" job that currently has many nsg students working there because they are able to study, and I can probably get another night shift which I love and plan to work once I graduate (7 pm - 7 am).

Thanks for any advice.


28 Posts

I was a monitor tech for a little over a year while in nursing school. The experience was really beneficial. I now work on a telemetry unit and all those hours of watching the monitors really helped me get comfortable. If that's an area you want to work in, it's an excellent experience...It's one thing to memorize the rhythms, but it's another to see them over and over and be able to recognize them right away after a while.

However, I do wish that I had spent some time as a nurse's assistant, because that is an area I feel uncomfortable with being a nurse and being on the other side, as funny as it might sound. I don't know what it's like to be a nurse's assistant. I don't know the little tricks in turning patients and ambulating them, and how to make an occupied bed without hurting my back, etc. I don't know what it feels like to be delegated to, so I am not good at delegating. The communication you learn working on the floor has some great benefits too. I missed out on that.

This is what I said to myself when I made that decision you are trying to make: I am going to have plenty of time on the unit in my career, so maybe it would be good to delve into an experience I might not (probably won't) get again.

So I chose to be a monitor tech. And I'm glad I chose that.

But I don't think you can go wrong. It certainly seems like you would have a schedule that worked out well for you in the nurse tech job. That's a big thing to consider. The downside for a lot of folks about doing monitor tech work is that you are sitting in a room you can't leave. Not to pee, not to take a walk, not for anything. You are sitting most of the time. Me? I loved that! Haha, I had my Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and my star gossip magazines for the times when I got caught up with my work. So it's just a matter of which works out best for you right now. They will both benefit you, so don't fret. Either way you're going to gain some great experience. Hope that wasn't annoyingly ambiguous haha.

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

They are both good jobs for different reasons. I worked as a nurse tech in an ICU as a nursing student and learned a lot and I also sat the ICU/telemetry patient monitors (the nurse tech also sat monitors when needed). I learned just as much from both honestly. Now as an RN I really really depend on the monitor techs to let me know about changes I might not have the chance to see.

Could your sit monitors prn or maybe when someone calls in sick or something?? I would definitely talk to your manager or someone about that.

Do what is best around your school though.

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