What's the Job Description of an ER Tech?

Emergency room technicians (ER techs) work in fast-paced medical settings. Keep reading to learn about duties and responsibilities of ER techs as well as education and training requirements. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

ER techs are highly-trained patient care providers who work on-site in the emergency room. While some ER techs have EMT (emergency medical technician) certification, this profession does not require you to go with medical transport to the scene of an accident or emergency. In addition to providing emergency care, you would perform patient comfort measures as well as clerical functions in the department.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2019) $34,752 per year*
Key Skills Critical thinking, compassion, patient treatment skills, clear oral communications
Work Environment Hospital or urgent care facility. May work weekends and/or night shifts.
Similar Occupations Nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, paramedic

Source: *Payscale.com

Duties and Responsibilities

As an ER tech, you would work under the guidance and direction of the ER nurse manager. You would be required to perform:

  • Phlebotomy procedures
  • Wound care and splinting
  • EKGs and heart rhythm monitoring
  • Triage patient care
  • Unit secretary functions
  • Certified nursing assistant (CNA) functions
  • Work relating to lab specimens, including collection and delivery

You would also have to assist with transporting patients into and out of the department to other areas of the hospital for tests. Additional duties include helping patients to undress and dress as well as lifting and positioning them to complete certain procedures. ER techs are often asked to coordinate relations between care providers, patients, and visitors.

Education and Training

To begin your career as an ER tech, you must possess some sort of medical training, most often achieved through completion of an EMT or certified nursing assistant program. For those who hold the EMT or CNA designation, many hospitals will provide on-the-job training to help you become an ER tech. There are also occupational certificate training programs available at vocational technical institutes and community colleges to help you prepare to work in an ER or urgent care setting.

Coursework typically covers topics in cardiac life support, medical terminology, phlebotomy, wound care and splinting, IV set-up, urinary catheterization, and proper body mechanics. In addition to completing medical training requirements in the classroom and at a medical facility, you'll need current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.

Career Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) does not report data specific to ER techs, it did predict that employment of EMTs and paramedics could increase by about 15% during the 2016-2026 decade.

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