Become an Emergency Department Technician
An emergency department technician is an EMT with specialized training who works in a hospital emergency room instead of in an ambulance. The responsibilities of an emergency department technician include assessing and transporting patients, communicating with family members, drawing blood, monitoring patients, and performing clerical duties, all while under direct supervision of nurses and doctors.
Emergency department technicians work in a fast-paced environment and must constantly respond to the needs of doctors and patients. These positions can be full- or part-time, and night and weekend shifts may be required. Because emergency department technicians have direct contact with patients, there is a risk of exposure to infectious diseases.
So, what are the career requirements for this field?
|Degree Level||High school diploma and certification through a post-secondary education program; can take up to two years to complete; associate's degree may be required|
|Key Skills||Strong interpersonal and listening skills, as well as aptitude in problem-solving; feel comfortable speaking to patients and explaining diagnoses and procedures; physical strength is important, since the job is very active and requires constant lifting, bending, and kneeling; compassionate and willing to give emotional support when needed|
|Median Annual Salary (January 2016)||$23,910 per year (for emergency department technicians); commensurate with experience, so techs with more than 10-20 years' experience can earn between $30,000 and $40,000 annually|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Help Indy Online, Volunteermatch.org, PayScale.com.
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Step 1: Get an Education
The first step in becoming an emergency department technician is getting the proper education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most states require a high school diploma as well as certification or licensure. Technician candidates must be registered nurse assistants, licensed EMT paramedics, or licensed practical nurses. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NREMT, provides EMT certification, which includes coursework and a national exam.
Step 2: Career Advancement
How do emergency department technicians advance their careers? Earning specialized certifications is one way to ensure job security and gain more responsibility within an emergency department. Some hospitals require additional certifications, like catheter insertion or arrhythmia recognition. Some emergency department technicians go on to become emergency department registered nurses. This career path requires a degree from an accredited school of nursing, as well as a state license.
Emergency department technicians assist doctors and nurses with patient and clerical work in an emergency department, have high school diplomas and a post-secondary certification, some have advanced certifications, are compassionate problem solvers who work well in a fast-paced environment, and who may have a desire to become an emergency department registered nurse.