State agencies do not yet have legislation that details the EKG technician education, training, or certification requirements in New Mexico. Technicians are generally required to perform work under the supervision of a nurse or the licensed physician who assumes accountability for delegated tasks. Although the state has no regulations affecting technicians in the cardiac care department, many employers have their own expectations for the training process, the certification exam that is taken, and tasks that can be delegated.
The New Mexico Board of Nursing has adopted guidelines that must be followed when assigning patient care tasks to an unlicensed member of the medical team. Healthcare professions are often subject to liability claims that are made when a patient feels that their health and safety has been affected by the negligence of a provider. Regulations affecting the delegation of nursing tasks to an EKG technician are designed to help medical facilities protect themselves in situations where a patient becomes dissatisfied with the care that they have been given. Individuals who intend to enter this field are well-advised to familiarize themselves with these regulations prior to beginning the job search process.
According to New Mexico law, the term ‘delegation’ means the transferring to a competent individual the authority to perform a selected nursing task in a selected situation. All tasks that are assigned to an unlicensed assistant must be within the scope of practice of the licensed individual and the role description of the unlicensed person. In addition, the unlicensed person must be prepared and qualified to perform the task. A task that involves the administration of medication or requires the expert knowledge, judgment, or skill of a nurse may not be delegated to a member of the patient care team who is unlicensed.
Education and Training Requirements
There are no standard educational and training requirements that universally apply to the EKG technician. In fact, it may be possible to enter the profession with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. Because cardiac care is considered a specialty field of healthcare that handles high risk patients, many employers prefer to hire applicants who have prior experience in a more generalized area of practice. Individuals who have worked with patients for a few years tend to have a more informed perspective of the unique demands that are created when dealing with patients directly. In addition, experienced applicants have the basic knowledge and skills that many employers consider to be essential for the provision of high quality care.
Those who have difficulty finding employment as an EKG technician due to lack of experience might consider working as a medical assistant or nurse’s aide for awhile to help strengthen their resume. These two options are easier to enter and offer numerous opportunities to gain exposure to many healthcare specialties and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in many areas of practice. Aspiring technicians might also discover that the initial years allow for valuable networking with those who have been in the field for awhile.
State Contact Information
Phone: (575) 528-5081
Fax: (575) 528-5039
1190 S. St. Francis Dr. Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: (505) 841-9049
Fax: (505) 841-8347
6301 Indian School NE, Ste. 710 Albuquerque, NM 87110