There are no governmental organizations that have adopted formal EKG technician training and certification requirements in the state of Oklahoma. Since a technician is an unlicensed member of the patient care team, they may be subject to those rules and regulations that establish the types of patient care tasks that can be delegated to an unlicensed person by a licensed nurse. Individuals who are interested in this career path are well-advised to become familiar with these guidelines prior to seeking employment with local healthcare facilities.
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing has developed legislation that impacts how patient care tasks can be delegated to an unlicensed person. Laws that are relevant to the EKG technician can be found in Title 485 which defines delegation as entrusting the performance of selected nursing duties to individuals qualified, competent, and legally able to perform the duties. In most cases, the technician will be categorized as an Advanced Unlicensed Assistant (AUA) which refers to an individual, other than a licensed nurse, who performs in an assistive role and has been certified to perform core skills as delegated by a licensed nurse. The AUA is required to complete a certification exam that has a fee of $20.
The provision of patient care in a medical facility requires that all personnel demonstrate competence to perform their job responsibilities as a condition of employment. Because the technician is unlicensed, they will usually be required to work under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse who assumes responsibility for the delegation of tasks and any health outcomes that result from the decision to delegate. In order to protect the health and safety of patient’s, the nurse is typically required to assess the stability of the patient, the competence of the AUA, the complexity of the task, and the anticipated outcome of providing the intervention. Most administrators in the cardiac care unit evaluate the competence of technicians before offering them a position and provide education and training that is specialized for the services that are provided within the department. Those who have no prior patient care experience may need to complete additional training before being considered for long-term employment.
Education and Training Requirements
Subchapter 10 of Title 485 outlines the requirements for all advanced unlicensed assistant (AUA) training programs. According to these regulations, the program curriculum must include core skills, personal responsibilities, outlines for content, interpersonal skills, procedures, operation of equipment, safety precautions, and much more. The length of the training program must be a minimum of 200 hours in length and must include 80 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of clinical experience. Once the training program has been completed, individuals are able to take the AUA certification exam offered by the state. Most cardiac care directors require their technicians to successfully pass a nationally recognized certification exam that is specific to the EKG technician profession. The exact exam required varies between facilities and it is important to contact potential employers directly to learn more about their unique expectations.
The cardiac care department is a specialized area of medicine that manages many complex patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic heart conditions. Although it is possible to enter the profession with no formal college education or patient care experience, a local employer may prefer to hire an applicant who has at least a 2-year college degree and a few years of experience. Applicants who lack the credentials they need might want to consider working as a medical assistant or nursing aide before making the transition to cardiac care.
State Contact Information
Phone: (405) 273-2157
Alternate: (800) 522-0203
1904 Gordon Cooper Dr. Shawnee, OK 74801
Phone: (405) 962-1800
Fax: (405) 962-1821
2915 N. Classen Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73106