There are no formal EKG technician training and certification regulations in the state of Mississippi. While there are few state and federal government requirements for technicians, many employers have adopted their own standards for the level of knowledge and skills that an individual must possess in order to provide direct patient care. In addition, technicians are classified as unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) who are subject to rules and regulations affecting the delegation of nursing tasks as established by the Mississippi Board of Nursing.
Mississippi Code § 73-15-17 states that a registered nurse (RN) must be accountable for the quality of care provided by unlicensed members of the medical team. The RN is allowed to assign specific nursing duties and treatments to other qualified personnel based on educational preparation, experience, knowledge credentials, competency, physical, and emotional ability to perform the duties. As a condition of the delegation of duties, the RN must appraise the care given by the licensed nursing staff and auxiliary workers under the licensee’s direction as well as provide guidance and assistance as needed.
The delegation of patient care responsibilities to unlicensed personnel carries a significant amount of liability in the event that quality of care is compromised. For this reason, Mississippi requires that a registered nurse assume full and complete responsibility for the clinical nursing record which reflects the patient’s care and progress. In general, the nurse may delegate any or all of the recording of care given and the observations made to assistants who have rendered the service to patients. The nurse remains accountable for communicating patient outcomes and medical interventions to other members of the patient care team.
Education and Training Requirements
The fact that an EKG technician is an unlicensed member of the medical team means that it is possible to enter the profession with only a high school diploma and in-house training. While there are no official government regulations requiring a technician to complete a formal degree program or advanced training, increased accountability measures in healthcare have led many employers to adopt additional training and certification policies for unlicensed members of the patient care staff. For this reason, individuals hoping to enter the cardiac care industry as a technician may be required to complete a minimum of a two-year college degree in an allied health field, specialty training, and national certification before being considered for a position in the cardiovascular department. The specifics of employment expectations may vary between institutions and it is important for aspiring technicians to contact potential employers directly to learn more about available positions before submitting an application.
In situations where an employer requires prior experience with direct patient care, individuals may want to consider working in an allied health field with fewer entry requirements before making the transition to cardiac care. Two of the most popular employment options for those who plan to take this approach include that of medical assistant or nurse aide. These opportunities generally have fewer hiring expectations and do provide many chances for individuals to master the basic skills required to provide high quality care in all areas of patient care.