No regulations establishing the EKG technician training or certification requirements in Iowa exist. The state’s Department of Public Health and the Board of Nursing are responsible for adopting and enforcing the laws designed to define the professions that must be licensed. Although governmental agencies have not set standards for the training of EKG technicians in Iowa, they may be categorized as unlicensed assistive personnel who are subject to rules and regulations that do establish guidelines for the delegation of nursing tasks.
According to state law, unlicensed assistive personnel are individuals who are trained to function in an assistive role to a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in the provision of nursing care activities as delegated by the nurse. A nurse is expected to use professional judgment in assigning and delegating activities and functions to unlicensed personnel. An activity or function that is beyond the scope of practice of a licensed nurse may not be delegated to unlicensed assistive personnel. This does not include certified emergency medical services personnel who perform non-lifesaving procedures for which they have been certified.
A nurse who delegates tasks to unlicensed members of the medical staff is responsible for supervising the function or activity and assumes overall responsibility for assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating care. An unlicensed member of the medical staff cannot perform tasks that require the professional knowledge, judgment, or skill of those who have been licensed as a nurse. An individual who works as a technician in the cardiovascular department will be responsible for a well-defined set of responsibilities and will be required to practice under the supervision of licensed professional.
Education and Training Requirements
It is fairly common for an EKG technician to learn the basic principles of patient care through employment in a more generalized area of medicine before transitioning into a position in the cardiac care department. There are many types of unlicensed medical professions that one might want to consider if they are new to healthcare and are in need of a few years of experience to be competitive for an EKG technician job opening. Two of the most popular professions are that of medical assistant or nurse aide. These allied health fields typically require only a high school diploma or GED and the successful completion of a training program offered through a community college, vocational school, or local healthcare facility. The nice thing about these options is the fact that they provide opportunities to learn about a broad range of fundamental patient care principles.
Those who are more interested in a specialized area of allied health might want to consider gaining experience as a dialysis technician, dental assistant, home health aide, or radiologic technologist before applying for a position as an EKG technician. Entry requirements vary for each of these professions and may include some college education, more advanced training, and specialized certification. Individuals who have acquired experience and credentials in one of the allied health professions listed here are more likely to be considered for a position as an EKG technician because they have demonstrated their competence in patient care.
The EKG technician training and certification requirements in Iowa are dependent on the standards that employers impose. Those who are considering a career as a technician are encouraged to contact local employers prior to applying for an opening. Those who have an understanding of the requirements may spend less time trying to enter the profession and may experience less frustration along the way. Other ways to learn about the field include options such as job shadowing, volunteering, and part-time employment.
State Contact Information
Phone: (515) 281-0254
Fax: (515) 281-3121
Email: Contact Form
Lucas Bldg., 321 E. 12th St. Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 281-3255
Fax: (515) 281-4825
Riverpoint Business Park, 400 S.W. 8th St., Ste. B Des Moines, IA 50309