Governmental EKG technician training and certification requirements in Idaho have yet to be officially adopted by the state. In general, a technician working in a cardiac department is categorized as an unlicensed assistant who is to be supervised by a registered nurse or a licensed physician when providing care. It is somewhat unusual for an individual to enter this career field without healthcare experience and many people choose to master the basics of patient care by first working as a medical assistant or nurse’s aide.
Initial employment as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an excellent way to gain the knowledge and skills needed to become successful in any area of patient care. Idaho requires that CNAs complete an approved training and competency evaluation program prior to working with patients. The Idaho Board of Nursing does not have rules that govern the scope of practice of a CNA, but does impose rules on the delegation of nursing tasks to an unlicensed medical professional. Since an EKG technician is a member of the unlicensed assistive personnel community, they are subject to regulations that affect the delegation of nursing tasks. According to state regulations, assistive personnel may complement the nurse in the performance of nursing functions, but may not substitute for the licensed nurse. In addition, tasks that are delegated must be stated in writing.
Unlicensed assistive personnel are prohibited from performing tasks involving acts that require nursing assessment or diagnosis, establishment of a plan of care or teaching, the exercise of nursing judgment, or procedures requiring the specialized knowledge or skills of a nurse. Examples of tasks that should not be delegated include…
- Sterile procedures
- Preparation or administration of injections
- Starting, stopping, or adjusting IV therapy
- Oxygen adjustment without clear direction
- Nasogastric tube feedings
- Mixing or compounding medications
- Preparing, applying, or adjusting breathing machines
- Assisting with non-routine medications
Education and Training Requirements
All programs for unlicensed assistive personnel must…
- include written objectives that can be evaluated by examination
- incorporate learning experiences
- be conducted by a licensed medical professional
- include an evaluation mechanism
- address general curriculum content areas
There are many different types of allied health career fields that provide individuals with the basic knowledge and skills they need to secure a position as an EKG technician. While medical assistant and nursing aide are two of the most common career entry pathways, some people choose to pursue specialized areas of practice including that of dialysis technician, pharmacy technician, dental assistant, or radiologic technologist. When selecting the career path that is most appropriate, one must factor in the educational, training, and certification requirements of each field that is being considered. Some unlicensed professions offer positions to applicants who have nothing more than a high school diploma or GED while others require a minimum of a two-year college degree and specialized training.
The EKG technician career path is rewarding and provides many options for personal and professional growth. While many technicians find that they need a few years of education and experience before entering this specialty field, they often consider the time and effort as a worthwhile investment. Those who take a proactive approach to patient care and who acquire some education and certification often find that they are able to accelerate the career advancement process and achieve their goals within a reasonable period of time.
State Contact Information
Phone: (208) 334-1959
Toll-Free: (208) 334-6801
1720 Westgate Drive Boise, ID 83704
Phone: (208) 577-2476
Fax: (208) 334-3262
PO Box 83720, 280 N. 8th St., Ste. 210 Boise, ID 83720