The state Department of Health and Human Services has no official EKG technician training and certification requirements in the state of Nevada. While government agencies have yet to develop legislation that governs the cardiac care technician, most employers do have their own expectations for education, training, and certification. Individuals who intend to become a member of the medical team, but who do not need to be licensed are generally subject to the guidelines that affect the delegation of patient care responsibilities to unlicensed employees.
Healthcare facilities in the United States have become more dependent on unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) over the past several years as the population has increased and the demand for medical services has risen. Physicians and nurses are heavily dependent on UAPs to carry out routine tasks that do not require professional knowledge, judgment, or technical skill. While unlicensed members of the medical team do enable the healthcare system to manage larger patient loads, it also creates a situation where liability for patient care can become a bigger issue. Most healthcare facilities follow the delegation guidelines established by the Nevada Board of Nursing to help ensure that patients are receiving the highest level of care available.
According to NAC 632.047, delegation means entrusting the performance of a delegable nursing duty to a person who is qualified and competent to perform the duty. A delegable nursing duty is one that is included in the standard policies and procedures of an agency that employs a nurse and which leads to predictable results in the observation and care of patients. NAC 632.222 states that a registered nurse may delegate nursing care to other nurses and supervise other personnel in the provision of care if those persons are qualified to provide that care. In order to be able to delegate a task, a nurse must consider the…
- amount of direction required
- complexity of the nursing care needed by the patient
- educational preparation and demonstrated competency of the delegatee
- established policies and procedures relating to the care of the patient
- procedures used to communicate the patient’s symptoms, reactions and progress
A nurse who delegates tasks to another nurse or to an unlicensed assistant are accountable for the actions taken by those persons in carrying out the duties delegated or assigned. In addition, tasks that cannot be delegated include those that require the substantial judgment, knowledge and skill of a registered nurse. The delegating nurse must evaluate the knowledge, skill, and experience of the delegatee before any tasks are assigned. The nurse must also provide supervision and direction to those who are performing delegated tasks.
Education and Training Requirements
The fact that few regulations exist that require formal EKG technician education and training means that individuals can enter the profession with little more than a high school diploma or GED. Although some colleges and universities do offer EKG technician certificate programs, they are usually unaccredited and only last for a short period of time. It is always a good idea to enhance one’s credentials in order to become a more competitive job applicant, but it is also important to contact potential employers directly to learn more about their expectations before attempting to complete a program through a local educational institution. Some technicians find that a certificate is unnecessary and that an in-house training program must be completed before being allowed to provide direct patient care. An understanding of employer expectations can save time, money, and effort when pursuing this field.
While a formal college education is not needed to be a successful EKG technician, employers do often prefer to hire individuals who have at least a two-year degree in an allied health field and experience in a more generalized area of care. Those who are finding it hard to secure a position in the cardiac care unit might want to consider work as a medical assistant or nurse’s aide to strengthen their resume. These options provide opportunities to experience the basic skills needed to become a respected technician in many different specialties.
State Contact Information
Phone: (775) 684-4000
Fax: (775) 684-4010
4126 Technology Way, Ste. 100 Carson City, NV 89706
Phone: (702) 486-5800
Fax: (702) 486-5803
4220 S. Maryland Pkwy., Bldg. B, Ste. 300 Las Vegas, NV 89119