EKG Technician Training in Rhode Island

There are no official EKG technician training and certification requirements that have been created in Rhode Island. A technician working in the cardiac department will be expected to deliver electrocardiograms, telemetry, Holter monitoring, and a variety of additional tasks involved in patient care. To protect the health and safety of patients, a facility often requires applicants to demonstrate their competence through the completion of a training program and a nationally recognized certification exam specific to the industry.

Delegation Regulations

Most states classify the EKG technician as an unlicensed assistant who is required to work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or licensed physician. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to assess specific patient care situations to determine if it is safe to delegate tasks to an unlicensed member of the medical team. In cases where the professional knowledge, judgment, and skill of the nurse is not required, routine tasks may be assigned to individuals who have the knowledge and skills to perform the tasks in a safe and effective manner. The Rhode Island Board of Nursing has laws that specifically outline the criteria that must be met in order for an assistant to perform a task that has been delegated.

According to R5-34-NUR/ED, the term ‘delegation’ means the transferring to a competent individual the authority to perform a selected nursing activity in a selected situation. Section 11.0 covers the process of delegation in lengthy detail. This section states that nurses may delegate nursing activities that are consistent with the level of knowledge, skills, training, experience, and cultural awareness of the unlicensed assistive personnel when the client’s health status is stable and predictable. For a nurse to legally delegate a task, the following requirements must be met…

  • The nurse has made an assessment of the patient’s nursing care needs
  • The nursing activity is appropriate for delegation
  • The nurse remains accountable for the quality of nursing care given to the patient

There is a significant amount of medical liability associated with the delegation of nursing tasks to unlicensed medical professionals and it is extremely important for nurses and other members of the team to understand that the nurse is accepting responsibility for the health outcomes that result from care that is provided by assistants. In determining the tasks that may be delegated, it is important for the nurse to consider…

  • The knowledge and skills of the delegatee
  • The clinical competence of the delegatee
  • The stability of the client’s condition
  • The variables in each service setting
      • Established policies, procedures, and channels of communication
      • Complexity and frequency of care needed
      • Number and qualifications of other staff present
      • Accessibility of the licensed nurse

In most cases, the technician will be allowed to perform electrocardiograms, telemetry, Holter monitoring, history collection, chart documentation, and a variety of other routine responsibilities. The Board of Nursing has provided a delegation decision-making tree to further help nurses decide which tasks are appropriate for the technician to carry out when providing high quality and comprehensive care to patients.

Education and Training Requirements

Because a technician is unlicensed by the state, it is possible to pursue this career path with only a high school diploma or GED. In the past, it was common for individuals to secure long-term employment in the cardiac care unit with very little formal education or experience, but heightened quality standards in the US have led several establishments to begin providing preference to applicants who have completed a minimum of 2-years of college and who have some prior experience with direct patient care in a more generalized area of practice.

State Contact Information

Rhode Island Department of Health

Phone:         (401) 222-5960
Alternate:   (401) 222-2828
Email:          Contact Form

Rhode Island State Seal3 Capitol Hill     Providence, RI 02908

Rhode Island Board of Nursing

Phone:         (401) 222-3983
Fax:             (401) 222-1404
Email:          publicinfo@sos.ri.gov

82 Smith St., State House Rm. 38     Providence, RI 02903

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