There is no state agency or organization that has been tasked with creating EKG technician training and certification requirements in the state of Texas. In most cases, the technician is classified as an unlicensed assistant who must comply with employer competency standards and abide by state regulations that determine the types of tasks that can be delegated to an unlicensed provider. Facilities typically require a technician to work under the supervision of a registered nurse who assumes responsibility for the outcomes that result from delegation.
The Texas Board of Nursing has adopted rules and regulations that establish criteria for the delegation of patient care tasks to unlicensed members of the medical team. The delegation of tasks by registered nurses is cover in Chapter 224 of the state’s legislation. According to §224.3, the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners recognizes that the delivery of high quality care sometimes requires that tasks be delegated to unlicensed personnel. The scope of the delegation and the level of supervision by the RN may vary depending on the setting, the complexity of the task, the skills and experience of the unlicensed person, and the client’s physical and mental status
An unlicensed person is defined as an individual who is not licensed as a healthcare provider, but who is monetarily compensated to provide certain health related tasks and functions in a complementary or assistive role to the RN in providing direct client care or carrying out common nursing functions. Unlicensed personnel may include nurse aides, orderlies, assistants, attendants, technicians, home health aides, medication aides, and other individuals providing personal care/assistance of health related services. A nurse who delegates tasks to these individuals is accountable for supervising and directing unlicensed personnel.
In order to delegate tasks, the nurse must…
1) Make an assessment of the client’s needs
2) Ensure the task is one that a reasonable and prudent nurse would consider to be in the scope of sound nursing judgment considering the five rights of delegation: the right task, the right person to whom delegation is made, right circumstances, the right direction and communication by the RN, and the right supervision
3) Ensure that the task is one that can be safely performed by the unlicensed person without jeopardizing the client’s welfare
4) Ensure that the task does not require professional nursing judgment
5) Adequately identify the unlicensed person to whom the nursing task is delegated
6) Verify the unlicensed person’s competency to perform the nursing task
7) Adequately supervise the performance of the delegated nursing task
8) Periodically evaluate the delegation of tasks
Tasks that are most commonly delegated include things like…
- non-invasive and non-sterile treatments
- collecting, reporting, and documentation of data
- ambulation, positioning, and turning
- transportation of the client within a facility
- personal hygiene and elimination
- feeding, cutting up of food, or placing of meal trays
- socialization activities
- activities of daily living
- reinforcement of health teaching planned
Education and Training Requirements
Few formal government education and training requirements currently exist in Texas. Because of the decision not to enact legislation directly affecting the profession, employers are left to themselves to decide what they will require of those who are applying to open technician positions within the cardiac care unit. Due to high levels of liability that are associated with direct patient care, most facilities now prefer to hire individuals who have an allied health degree or a few years of experience working in a more generalized area of practice.
Those who have a high school diploma or GED and who would like to enter the field without a college degree might want to consider working as a medical assistant or nurse aide for a few years. These two entry level options generally have less stringent application requirements and provide many opportunities to master the basic knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality care in many areas of practice. In addition, these options expose individuals to many specialties and can help to reaffirm one’s commitment to the cardiac care department.
State Contact Information
Phone: (512) 834-6628
Fax: (512) 834-6677
Mail Code 1982, PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714
Phone: (512) 305-7400
Fax: (512) 305-7401
333 Guadalupe, Ste. 3-460 Austin, TX 78701