Published Jun 5, 2013
What exactly is an Ed Tech, how do you become one and where do they work?
An ED Tech is an emergency department technician. Depends on what hospital and their job requirements - some require you to be a CNA, or some require a EMT. As a tech you assist with patient care, insert IVs, catheterize patients, EKGs etc.
akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P
Places that require that their ED Techs be at least EMT certified often hire Paramedics for that position. The problem is that sometimes getting Paramedics to do anything as a group (besides patient care) is often like herding cats. If you manage to capture one, you might be able to tame them a little bit and get them to help out in the ED...
Actually, I kid!!! Ok, just a little bit. ED Technicians are essentially the gophers of the ED. Need something? The ED Tech can go for it. There really isn't a course or certification specifically for ED Techs that I've ever seen. Their job description varies a bit from facility to facility for what they're allowed to do. They do help with patient care. As berk15 pointed out, sometimes they do IV's, cath patients, do EKG's, do vitals, clean rooms/beds, restock, and so on. They fill the role of CNA in some ways but sometimes their skillset is quite expanded. It's all facility dependent. They're not nurses, not CNA's, not PA's. They probably get their scope of practice from the medical side of the department and happen to be overseen by the nursing side.
How do you get a job as an ED Tech? Look at the typical job postings and find out what they require. Seek out that education and apply. Keep your ears to the ground as they may already have people ready to be hired in those spots when they actually post the job openings. Many of my former co-workers were also ED Technicians and they often got jobs simply because they asked... and they were "known" people to the department. In other words, people there knew who they were and knew these folks were good at their job. The exact/actual process that takes place in your area could very well be completely different. It's just how it was probably 10 years ago when I worked in EMS.
I volunteered as an EMT for nearly 4 years before i was even considered for an ED tech position. Usually you need to be an EMT or paramedic for 5+ years, have a phlebotomy license, know how to operate an EKG, take an EKG arrhythmia class or be willing to take one. I enjoyed working in the ED, but i did see a few people who got hired who probably werent as prepared for the role.
ED techs where I live do patient care, draw blood, EKGs, insert/remove foley caths. Only nurses do IVs.
CowboyMedic, BSN, RN
I am an ER Tech. Our ER normally only hires Paramedics but we do have a few CNA/CTA/AUA and EMT Basic that fill in. We do patient care, start IVs, ekgs, basically everything we do on an ambulance except drug administration and intubations. Your skills also depends on your level.
Requirements for ED tech vary greatly. Ive seen everything from CNAs to EMTs to Nursing students to Paramedics. Ive even seen a couple ED techs who claimed to have had no training or certs when they got hired, although I think they were college students who had taken A&P and other pre med classes.
Probably what you see most are experienced EMT Basics with extra training or certs, followed by CNAs or PCTs who transferred from another part of the hospital. One ER I go to all the time has literally every example I mentioned working as a tech, and its pretty much impossible to tell one apart from the other, aside from the paramedics who tend to stand out because they are more independant than the others, and usually have a noticeably bigger ego.
I was hired into a little ER as an ED Tech initially. I was an EMT who had finished medic school and completed my first semester of nursing school. My boss there elminated the CNAs and the nursing students and looked at medical assistants, LPNs, medics, and EMTs. She hired 2 EMTs and 1 medical assistant.
Most ER Tech positions I see require you to be an EMT or a CNA.
In my current ER, the paramedics are a different position than the ER patient care techs. We get paid about four dollars more an hour and cover for the patient care techs but not vice versa. We can also cover for the RN and phlebo shifts that aren't filled as paramedics. Our PCTs include 1 woman who may or may not be a CNA (she's been here forever), another one who has been here close to forever, 1 nursing student, 1 EMT-I, and 1 EMT. There are phlebos who can work as PCTs in addition to there phleb jobs. We have 4 paramedics including myself that work at night or when we fill in. Oh, we also have 3 nurse externs that are pcts but they have 1 year of nursing clinicals done.
The roles kind of vary. The phlebs and paramedics can do IVs but not the pcts. Paramedics can triage. All can do EKGs. The nurse externs can do foleys and enter meds. The paramedics in theory could do the foleys because it's in a job description but none of the other ones want to. We also do not license phlebos in our state yet.
I have worked in a local ER as a tech for almost two years now. The requirements for my job included completion of an EMT B course, a current CNA license and a current BLS card. My job description has varied since my hire date, but essentially I am responsible for setting up procedures, vital signs, splints and wound care, initial triaging of a patients, code care and stocking and reordering supplies for the ED. I can assist with foley and IV placement and remove them. I have really enjoyed working as an ED and Will be starting nursing school in the fall. This job has given me such a good insight into the medical field. :)
They let basics triage patients? We let basics work as triage assistants that basically greet the patients and then the RN or the medic (after 7 pm) triages
I was just hired as an emergency nurse tech for an urgent care. I only have my CNA license and they trained me in splinting and phlebotomy. I take vitals, assist nurses and doctors in procedures, clean rooms, log patients, run labs, etc.
NICUmiiki, DNP, NP
I'm a ER tech. In my ED, we draw blood (no IV's), straight cath or place foleys, apply splints, get vitals, hook patients up to the monitors, we don't do EKGs since we have separate EKG techs. We're responsible for stocking the rooms. Occasionally, we, along with the nurses, will clean rooms when EVS can't keep up. We do a lot of chest compressions. We clean pts up when needed. We set up and assist in procedures, and do basic wound care.
My ER will only hire nursing students and EMT-Bs. Most of us are nursing students. We are only required to to maintain BLS and MOAB (management of aggressive behavior). No other certs are necessary.
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