EKG Technician Training in Utah

Official government EKG technician training and certification requirements have yet to be adopted by the state of Utah. Like most states in the US, facilities in Utah commonly classify a technician as unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) who must be supervised by a nurse and who must follow the rules and regulations that affect the delegation of activities to unlicensed members of the patient care team. Those who plan to pursue this career are well-advised to familiarize themselves with Utah’s legislation prior to seeking employment.

Delegation Regulations

R156-31b-701 of the Utah administrative code addresses the delegation of nursing tasks. According to 58-31b-102, the term ‘unlicensed assistive personnel’ refers to any unlicensed person, regardless of title, to whom tasks are delegated by a licensed nurse as permitted by rule and in accordance with the standards of the profession. Because of the liability associated with patient care in the United States, nurses assume accountability for the delegation of tasks and for the nursing care of the patient. A nurse is not allowed to assign tasks that require the specialized knowledge, judgment, and skill of a licensed medical professional. Prior to delegation, the nurse must…

1) Verify and evaluate the orders

2) Perform a nursing assessment, including an assessment of…

    • the patient’s nursing care needs
    • the delegatee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities
    • the complexity, irreversibility, predictability, and potential for harm
    • the availability and accessibility of resources
    • the availability of adequate supervision

3) Act within the area of the nurse’s responsibility

4) Act within the nurse’s knowledge, skills and ability

5) Determine whether the task can be safely performed by a delegatee

6) Determine that the task is an act consistent with the health and safety of the patient

7) Verify competence

8) Provide instruction and direction

9) Provide ongoing supervision

10) Explain the delegation

11) Instruct the delegatee

12) Establish a system for monitoring

In determining the level of supervision necessary, the nurse must evaluate…

  • the stability of the condition of the patient
  • the training, capability, and willingness of the delegatee
  • the nature of the task being delegated
  • the proximity and availability of the delegator to the delegatee

All of these guidelines have been established to ensure the health and well-being of patients as well as to protect the interests of the staff and the institution in the event that negligence is suspected. Some of the most common tasks in the cardiac care unit include electrocardiogram administration, telemetry, Holter monitoring, documentation of medical histories, and vital sign collection. These topics along with issues relating to institutional policies and procedures are often covered during the new employee orientation and training period.

Education and Training Requirements

In the past, it was relatively common for individuals to find employment as an EKG technician with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. Today, improved state and federal quality of care initiatives have led many employers to start offering hiring preference to applicants who have a minimum of two-years of college and some prior experience in a generalized area of medical practice. Although it may be possible for some to enter the profession directly without having completed a formal college program or having worked in healthcare before, it has become much more difficult to complete with applicants who have additional credentials.

Those who are having a tough time securing a job may want to consider enrolling in a short certificate program or a two-year allied health degree program. Those who want to avoid an educational program can actively enhance a resume by working as a medical assistant or nursing aide for a few years prior to seeking a position in the cardiovascular specialty. These options provide several excellent opportunities to learn the basics of quality patient care and to network with individuals who have worked in cardiac care for many years.

State Contact Information

Utah Department of Health

Phone:         (801) 538-6003
Alternate:   (801) 538-6111
Email:          hlwebmaster@utah.gov

Utah State SealPO Box 141010     Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Utah Board of Nursing

Phone:         (801) 530-6628
Fax:             (801) 530-6511
Email:          doplweb@utah.gov

160 East 300 South     Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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