EKG Technician Training in Hawaii

There are no laws addressing EKG technician training and certification requirements in the state of Hawaii. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is tasked with enforcing professional licensing requirements. This does not mean that those who work as a technician are not required to follow the regulations that establish guidelines for delegation of nursing tasks to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). A technician may be classified as a personnel assistant who works under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed physician.

Delegation Guidelines

According to state regulations, only a registered nurse has the authority to practice professional nursing and delegate nursing tasks. A registered nurse may delegate may delegate in any setting and at any time provided that supervision is available. Delegated tasks must comply with the delegation decision-making process created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The NCSBN recognizes the need for the delegation of certain nursing tasks to UAPs and has established guidelines for nurses to follow. The fundamental principles of delegation include the following…

  1. The nurse is responsible and accountable for delegated tasks
  2. The nurse directs care and determines the appropriate utilization of UAPs
  3. The nursing process itself cannot be delegated
  4. Assessment, planning, evaluation, and judgement cannot be delegated
  5. Delegation is subject to the nurse’s evaluation of…
    • the condition of the patient
    • the competence of members of the team
    • the supervision required
  6. The nurse must evaluate the UAP’s knowledge and skill
  7. Communication must be clear, concise, complete, and correct
  8. The nurse must verify comprehension with the UAP
  9. The 5 Rights of Delegation must be followed…
    • right task
    • right circumstances
    • right person
    • right directions and communication
    • right supervision and evaluation
  10. There is both individual and organizational accountability for delegation

Education and Training Requirements

As an unlicensed medical professional, an EKG technician is not generally required to complete much education and training in Hawaii. This is not to say that employers do not adopt their own expectations for technicians who provide direct patient care. In fact, most healthcare facilities prefer to hire individuals who have completed a minimum of a two-year Allied Health degree program and an industry-specific certification exam. Many technicians choose to work for a few years as a medical assistant or nurse aide prior to pursuing the more specialized electrocardiography profession. This approach allows individuals to acquire valuable experience providing patient care and gives them an opportunity to master the fundamental principles underlying high quality medical services.

Individuals who decide to become a nurse aide in order to gain exposure to patient care are encouraged to review the laws that will affect them prior to deciding on this career path. According to state regulations, no person is allowed to represent themselves as a certified nurse aide or use the abbreviation CNA without having first obtained certification. Successful completion of the certification process generally requires that individuals finish a training program as an approved educational facility of healthcare establishment. Once training has been completed, aides can submit an application to take the certification exam. Additional information about becoming a certified nurse aide can be found by visiting the state’s Professional and Vocational Licensing webpage.

Pathways into the EKG technician profession are diverse. A few alternatives to the medical assistant and/or nursing aide options include opportunities like that of dialysis technician, radiologic technologist, pharmacy assistant, and dental assistant. Some of these positions require the completion of formal education and training while others may only require a high school diploma or GED. Because expectations can vary dramatically, it is very important for technicians to contact potential employers to learn more about their requirements.

State Contact Information

Hawaii Department of Health

Phone:         (808) 586-4400
Fax:             (808) 586-4444
Email:          webmail@doh.hawaii.gov

Hawaii State Seal1250 Punchbowl St.     Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii Board of Nursing

Phone:         (808) 586-3000
Alternate:   (808) 587-3295
Email:          pvl@dcca.hawaii.gov

DCCA-PVL, PO Box 3469     Honolulu, HI 96801

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