Emergency Room Technician: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Educational Requirements
Emergency room technicians assist ER nurses with clerical and basic clinical tasks for incoming patients. To find out more about job duties, career outlook and educational requirements of an emergency room technician, read on. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Job Duties Will I Have as an Emergency Room Technician?
As an emergency room technician, your main function is to support registered nurses in a hospital emergency department in order to provide the highest quality patient care. Your duties are divided between clinical and clerical roles as needed. Your clinical responsibilities may include taking vital signs, temperature and blood pressure; obtaining necessary lab specimens; treating wounds and placing casts. Your supervisor may ask for additional assistance with patient procedures within the boundaries of your scope of practice. As an emergency room technician, you also have administrative obligations that include assisting with patient transfers and discharge, maintaining a clean and safe environment, documenting patient information and replenishing supplies.
What is the Career Outlook?
Since emergency room technicians are typically trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or certified nursing assistants (CNAs), you can expect similar career outlooks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for EMTs and paramedics was expected to grow about as fast as average, with a potential increase of nine percent between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). During the same time period, employment of nursing and psychiatric aides was expected to grow 18%, which was faster than average. If you further your education and earned advanced certifications, you can increase your employment opportunities. The compensation for emergency room technicians varies with location, industry and experience, but reports on Payscale.com show that most earned between $9.46 and $17.05 per hour as of July 2011.
What Education Do I Need?
In order to become an emergency room technician, you need at least a high school diploma or GED. However, most employers require completion of a CNA or EMT program and at least six months to 1 year of relevant experience. Additionally, you must maintain current CPR certification, and, depending on your training, either EMT licensure or CNA certification. Several community colleges and technical schools offer EMT, CNA or emergency room technician programs that typically combine classroom learning and clinical training. Common course topics include medical terminology, reading EKGs, inserting IVs and phlebotomy.
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