EKG Technician Training in Oregon

There are no official EKG technician training and certification requirements that have been adopted in Oregon. Technicians who do work within the cardiac care unit are not required to complete a formal college degree or graduate education to provide direct patient care. The fact that the state has chosen not to regulate the profession means that medical facilities are able to create their own unique employment expectations that may include a 2-year college degree, prior healthcare experience, in-house training, and national certification.

Delegation Regulations

There are many different types of unlicensed medical personnel that healthcare facilities rely on in order to provide comprehensive care to patients. Since there is often high levels of liability associated with medical care, most of these facilities require an unlicensed technician to work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed physician. The nurse is often responsible for deciding which tasks can be delegated to unlicensed personnel and is accountable for ensuring that all tasks are carried out in a safe and effective manner. The standards for delegation in Oregon have been established by the State Board of Nursing.

According to the state of Oregon, the term ‘delegation’ means that a nurse authorizes an unlicensed person to perform tasks of nursing care in selected situations and indicates that authorization in writing. The delegation process includes nursing assessment of the patient, evaluation of the ability of the unlicensed persons, teaching the task, ensuring supervision of the unlicensed persons and re-evaluating the task at regular intervals. In addition, the term ‘unlicensed person’ refers to someone who is not licensed to practice nursing, medicine, or any other health related occupation, but who provides tasks of nursing care. Unlicensed individuals do not include members of the client’s immediate family.

In order to lawfully delegate a task, the following conditions must be met…

  • The client’s condition is stable and predictable
  • The client’s situation or living environment is such that care can be safely done
  • The delegatee has been taught the task of nursing care
  • The delegatee is capable and willing to safely perform the task

Prior to delegation, the nurse must…

  • Perform a nursing assessment of the client’s condition
  • Determine that the client’s condition is stable and predictable
  • Consider the nature of the task, complexity, risks involved, and skills needed
  • Determine if an unlicensed person can perform the task safely without supervision
  • Determine how often the client’s condition needs to be reassessed
  • Evaluate the skills, ability and willingness of the unlicensed persons
  • Provide initial direction by teaching the task of nursing care
  • Observe the unlicensed persons performing the task
  • Leave procedural guidance for performance of the task for reference

Within the cardiac care unit, the most common tasks performed by the technician include things like the administration of electrocardiograms, telemetry, Holter monitoring, vital sign collection, medical history documentation, and preparing for procedures. The knowledge and skills needed to perform these tasks in a competent and safe manner are usually covered in great detail during the in-house training and orientation process. Facility administrators will also ensure that the proper documentation attesting to a technician’s competence has been completed and is retained within the employee’s file.

Education and Training Requirements

A college degree may not be required in order to become a successful technician. In the past, an individual could secure a job with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. More stringent quality of care standards have led many employers to begin requiring individuals to have prior experience with patient care or at least a two-year allied health degree. Those who are having a difficult time competing with other applicants may consider enrolling in a certificate program or working for a few years in a more generalized area of practice.

State Contact Information

Oregon Department of Health

Phone:         (971) 673-0540
Fax:             (971) 673-0556
Email:          mailbox.hclc@state.or.us

Oregon State Seal800 NE Oregon St.     Portland, OR 97232

Oregon Board of Nursing

Phone:         (971) 673-0685
Fax:             (971) 673-0684
Email:          oregon.bn.info@state.or.us

17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.     Portland, OR 97224

2 Responses

  1. Dawn Hart
    Dawn Hart at · Reply

    I am looking for an EKG Technician certification program. Do you have any suggestions? I have googled and have not found any in the Portland/Vancouver area.

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