State mandated EKG technician training and certification requirements in New York have yet to be adopted. The lack of state regulations affecting this profession means that employers are allowed to develop their own expectations for new technicians. While there is no formal governmental legislation that directly affects the EKG technician in New York, individuals may be required to follow guidelines that have been established for the delegation of nursing activities to unlicensed members of the patient care team.
The Office of Professions provides details on the delegation of tasks to unlicensed medical professionals. In general, delegation of responsibilities to an unlicensed person when the licensee knows that the person is not qualified to perform the task is a violation of state law. The state does allow facilities to utilize the services of a technician in order to provide comprehensive care to patients, but is generally restricted from assigning tasks that require the professional knowledge, judgment, or skill of a registered nurse or licensed physician. In addition, most employers require a nurse to provide direct supervision when delegating tasks to unlicensed individuals. Within the cardiac care unit, a technician is often expected to administer electrocardiograms, perform Holter monitoring, prepare patients for procedures, and a variety of other job responsibilities.
The healthcare industry has become an increasingly complex employment sector that is often subject to high levels of liability associated with practitioner negligence. Although technicians represent an important component of the patient care process, they are often supervised by licensed medical professionals who are willing to accept responsibility for any health outcomes that result from the delegation of care. Most facilities have very detailed policies and procedures for assigning tasks to technicians and they are adamant about personnel following these protocols in order to ensure high quality care for patients and to protect the interests of the establishment. The training program that is completed after being hired usually covers this aspect of employment in great depth.
Education and Training Requirements
Because the EKG technician profession is unlicensed in the state of New York, individuals are sometimes able to get a job with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. While a college degree is not a prerequisite for working as a technician in the cardiac care unit, employers often favor applicants who have at least a two-year degree in an allied health field along with a couple years of patient care experience. This is not to say that an aspiring technician cannot secure employment without these credentials, but more education and experience can help tip the scales in one’s favor. Some colleges and universities do offer short-term certificate programs that are designed to provide the technician with the basic knowledge and skills needed to be successful in cardiac care. While these programs can be helpful, it is important to contact potential employers before enrolling to ensure that it is recommended or required.
Individuals who lack previous experience with direct patient care and who are having trouble competing against other applicants may want to work in a more generalized area of practice that provides the credentials needed to land the long-term career that everyone is looking for. Two very popular options include that of the medical assistant and nurse’s aide. These opportunities provide several chances to gain exposure to the different specialty areas and to master the knowledge and skills needed to become successful in all areas of practice.
State Contact Information
Phone: (518) 402-0855
Alternate: (518) 486-9117
Email: Contact Form
Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12237
Phone: (518) 474-3817
Fax: (518) 474-1449
State Education Building, 2nd Floor Albany, NY 12234