There are no laws that have established official state EKG technician training and certification requirements in Illinois. An EKG technician is often classified under the unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) designation for the purposes of state licensing and professional regulation. In most cases, a technician is required to work under the supervision of a licensed physician or registered nurse. Licensed professionals are allowed to delegate certain tasks to UAPs as long as they are compliant with all state and federal guidelines.
The Illinois Nurse Practice Act defines delegation as the transferring to an individual the authority to perform a selected nursing activity or task in a selected situation. A registered professional nurse is not allowed to delegate any nursing activity requiring the specialized knowledge, judgment, and skill of a licensed nurse. It is usually the responsibility of the supervising nurse to assess the nature of care being provided, the condition of the patient, the competence of the UAP to which a task is being delegated, and the anticipated outcomes of the task before delegation occurs. The supervising medical professional is accountable for the care that is provided to patients and assumes liability for the outcomes. UAPs working in the cardiac department may be given tasks such as electrocardiogram administration, equipment operation and maintenance, and quality assurance.
Education and Training Requirements
Very few states have created rules and regulations that affect the manner in which an EKG technician receives their education, training, and certification. Since the state of Illinois has chosen not to license cardiovascular technologists, employers are allowed a reasonable amount of freedom to develop their own expectations for applicants. While some healthcare establishments may require only a high school diploma or GED, many administrators expect individuals to complete a minimum of 2-years in college, an in-house training program, and a state or national certification exam that is specific to the industry.
The EKG technician profession represents a specialized area of unlicensed medical care that typically requires some prior experience with direct patient care. In order to acquire the basic knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to be a competitive applicant, many technicians elect to work as a medical assistant or nurse aide for a few years prior to becoming an EKG technician. These generalized professions allow individuals to gain patient care experience and exposure to specialized areas of healthcare that offer unlicensed employment opportunities. Alternative UAP options include things like dialysis technician, pharmacy assistant, dental assistant, and radiologic technologist. Each of these options provides an opportunity to interact with patients on a daily basis and are viewed favorably by directors who are seeking new technicians in the cardiac department.
Formal education, training, and certification requirements vary depending on the field that is being considered and individuals should be careful to consider entry requirements before deciding on a career path. A few other ways to gain exposure to different unlicensed medical professions is to take advantage of the work-study, job shadowing, part-time employment, and volunteer opportunities available. These activities often result in valuable networking opportunities with some individuals who have worked in the field for many years.
State Contact Information
Phone: (217) 782-2913
Alternate: (217) 782-4977
535 W. Jefferson St. Springfield, IL 62761
Phone: (217) 785-0820
Toll-Free: (888) 473-4858
Email: Contact Form
320 W. Washington St., 3rd Floor Springfield, IL 62786