There are no formal regulations that require EKG technician training or certification in the state of Minnesota. Because the state does not license technicians, employers are allowed to adopt their own standards for applicants to technician positions. An applicant will typically be required to finish both a training program that has been designed by the employer and a national certification examination prior to the delivery of care. The technician might also be subject to rules and regulations governing the delegation of tasks to unlicensed personnel.
The Minnesota Board of Nursing has created laws that affect the types of tasks that can be delegated to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAPs). According to Section 148.171, the term ‘unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP)’ refers to any unlicensed person to whom nursing tasks or activities may be delegated or assigned, as approved by the board. The term ‘delegation’ means the transfer of authority to another nurse or competent, unlicensed assistive person to perform a specific nursing task or activity in a specific situation. Most tasks can only be delegated to a UAP by a registered nurse.
An EKG technician is most often responsible for administering electrocardiograms, Holter monitoring, telemetry, and a variety of other tasks. In most cases, a licensed medical professional is required to assume responsibility for the care that is provided to patients. This means that a physician or nurse will usually act in a supervisory role in the cardiac care unit and will retain accountability for the health outcomes that result from the provision of care. In addition, the supervisor will often assess the condition of the patient and the competency of the technician before any tasks are to be delegated. This ensures that the technician is not required to exercise professional knowledge, judgment, or skill when providing direct patient care.
Education and Training Requirements
The fact that few state and federal regulations exist that require an EKG technician to be licensed means that most of the knowledge and skills required to be successful in this profession are taught through hands-on instruction and real world experience provided by the healthcare facilities that are providing employment. Although some colleges and universities do offer formal certificate programs for individuals who wish to become a technician in cardiac care, these programs are usually very short in duration and lack official credentialing. The best approach to becoming an EKG technician is to first contact potential employers in your area to learn about their expectations and inquire about the training programs that they offer.
It is uncommon for an EKG technician to enter the profession without previous patient care experience. People often begin their career by becoming a medical assistant or nursing aide. These options provide a solid foundation for a career in cardiac care because they offer many opportunities to acquire the type of knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality care. Although it is possible to become a technician without prior patient experience, employers might prefer to hire those who understand the challenges associated with patient care.
State Contact Information
Phone: (651) 201-5000
Toll-Free: (888) 345-0823
Email: Contact Form
PO Box 64975 St. Paul, MN 55164
Phone: (612) 317-3000
Fax: (612) 617-2190
2829 University Ave., Ste. 200 Minneapolis, MN 55414