There is no state legislation that establishes EKG technician training and/or certification requirements in Maine. In general, healthcare facilities adopt their own standards when it comes to unlicensed members of the patient care team. Although some administrators may choose to hire applicants who have no formal education or prior experience, many often give preference to those who have demonstrated a basic level of competence in direct patient care and have an appreciation for the challenges that exist in this type of profession.
An EKG technician is commonly classified under the unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) title and is subject to state and federal regulations that determine how nursing tasks can be delegated to UAPs. A technician must work under the direct supervision of a licensed physician or registered nurse who has accepted responsibility for the health outcomes that may result from the delegation of tasks. Maine has passed legislation that specifically addresses the delegation of tasks to an assistant and it is important for aspiring technicians to review these guidelines before selecting a career path.
According to Maine’s Nursing Rules and Regulations, a registered professional nurse may coordinate and oversee unlicensed health care assistive personnel for specific tasks, consistent with patient safety. A nurse cannot coordinate and oversee unlicensed assistive personnel for health counseling, teaching, and any task that requires independent, specialized nursing knowledge, skill or judgment. Prior to delegating any task to unlicensed members of the medical team, the supervising nurse must assess the…
- acuity of the patient
- stability of the condition of the patient
- training and capability of the unlicensed health care assistive personnel
- nature of the tasks
- setting in which care is to be delivered
The supervising nurse is responsible for determining the needs of the patient, consulting the plan of care, identifying the the task to be performed, providing directions regarding the task, assessing the competence of the UAP, ensuring that the UAP reports to the nurse, monitoring patient care, documenting the task, and evaluating the performance of the task. The nurse assumes accountability for the outcome of the delegation of nursing tasks and ensure that a UAP is qualified to provide care to patients.
Education and Training Requirements
While it is possible to begin a career as an EKG technician without formal education and prior patient care experience, most employers prefer to hire individuals who have worked in healthcare and who understand the unique challenges that come with providing high quality and compassionate care. There are a number of different entry-level allied health professions that provide opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become competitive for an EKG technician job opening. Two of the most common career fields that people pursue when attempting to break into the patient care professions are that of certified nursing assistant and medical assistant. Some specialized areas that one might want to consider include that of dialysis technician, pharmacy technician, radiologic technologist, home health aide, and dental assistant.
Many of these options require little more than a high school diploma or equivalent, in-house training, and the successful completion of a national certification exam. For those who are interested in the certified assistant option, a minimum of 180 hours of approved training must be completed and include 90 hours of classroom theory, 20 hours of clinical lab work, and 70 hours of supervised clinical practice. Those who want to work as a radiographer, radiation therapist, or nuclear technologist are subject to special rules and regulations.
State Contact Information
Phone: (207) 287-3707
Fax: (207) 287-3005
Email: Contact Form
221 State St. Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: (207) 287-1133
Fax: (207) 287-1149
161 Capitol St., 158 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333