State agencies have not created regulations that detail the EKG technician training and certification requirements in Kentucky. Since a technician is not licensed by the state they are generally subject to legislation governing the delegation of nursing tasks. While the state has chosen not to regulate EKG technicians, many employers have their own requirements for the individuals they hire. Expectations may vary between facilities and it is very important for individuals to contact potential employers to learn more about their standards.
According to 201 KAR 20:400, an unlicensed person is an individual, other than a nurse, who functions in an assistant or subordinate role to the nurse. A nurse is allowed to delegate certain tasks to an unlicensed member of the medical staff as long as they have first determined the nursing care needs of the patient, assessed the competency of the unlicensed person, and has retained responsibility and accountability for the care of the patient. Nursing care includes assessment, planning, evaluation, and documentation. The delegation of tasks must meet the following criteria…
- within the scope of sound nursing judgment and practice
- can be competently and safely performed
- does not require independent nursing judgment or intervention
- is performed in a competent manner
The extent of nursing supervision is determined according to…
- The stability and acuity of the client’s condition
- The training and competency of the delegatee
- The complexity of the nursing task being delegated
- The proximity and availability of the delegator to the delegatee
An EKG technician is often expected to administer tests, maintain and operate equipment, ensure high quality results, prep patients for procedures, and much more. Technicians are required to work under the supervision of a licensed physician or registered nurse and will typically need approval to perform specialized tasks. Some technicians also help with invasive procedures, but are not allowed to perform such procedures independently. The exact nature of the job description is dependent on the medical setting and the employer’s expectations.
Education and Training Requirements
While it is possible to become an EKG technician without prior healthcare experience, most employers prefer to hire individuals who have a solid background in direct patient care. Working in the cardiac care department is somewhat different from other areas of healthcare because of its specialized products and services. The complexity involved in providing care to patients who have heart disease often requires a basic understanding of the generalized care that is provided to patients throughout the medical industry. For those who are new to healthcare, a few years of work as a medical assistant, nurse aide, dialysis technician, or radiologic technologist may provide a good opportunity to gain some experience with patient care and strengthen one’s credentials.
Individuals who are interested in becoming an assistant, aide, or dialysis technician generally do not need many years of college education or advanced training. In fact, these professions commonly require only a high school diploma or GED, in-house training, and a state or national certification exam. One of the major benefits of working in one of these fields prior to transitioning to the cardiovascular department is the ability to gain insight into the unique demands that are involved in direct patient care. These areas of patient care also allow individuals to gain broad exposure to the specialized departments that exist in most healthcare establishments.
Those who have decided that the cardiac care department is the right career path for them are encouraged to interact with professionals within the profession before applying for an open position. Networking with those who have been an EKG technician for many years can provide opportunities to acquire additional knowledge and skills as well as reaffirm one’s commitment to the specialty. This approach also allows individuals to learn about the EKG technician education, training, and certification requirements for a specific employer.
State Contact Information
Phone: (502) 564-3970
Toll-Free: (800) 372-2973
275 E. Main St. Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: (502) 429-3300
Fax: (502) 429-3311
Email: Contact Form
312 Whittington Pkwy., Ste. 300 Louisville, KY 40222