An ER technician works in the emergency room to support emergency room staff in providing care to injured or ill patients. An ER technician must have at least a high school diploma as well as further specialized training. The position requires some certification, usually at least an EMT certificate. An ER technician may be enrolled in a nursing program. Many employers also require at least a year of prior nursing experience. Technological ability is also necessary, since the job usually requires the use of various computer systems to record and process patient information.
An ER technician may be responsible for checking patients in and essentially providing customer service, requiring good interpersonal skills. Duties typically include maintaining the appearance of the work area, documenting procedures, answering telephones, assisting staff in triage, stocking supplies, and providing care to patients. The ER technician will interview patients to obtain medical information and measure vital signs if possible, and show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician, bathing, shaving, or draping them to prepare for treatment or examination as necessary. The ER technician may also continue to observe patients’ conditions and vital signs and if appropriate report changes to professional staff. The responsibilities vary somewhat according to training and the particular position; some ER technicians work primarily with documentation, computer systems, and customer service, others emphasize laboratory work, and others primarily provide patient care, working closely with other ER staff. The schedule is demanding: an ER technician often operates in a rapid, high-stress environment. The hours may vary significantly and often include nights, weekends, and holidays. The ER technician usually reports to the Registered Nurse on duty.
Emergency Room (ER) Technician Tasks
- Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
- Assist emergency room staff in caring for injured or ill patients.
- Observe patients' conditions and vital signs, and report changes to professional staff.
- Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure vital signs, if possible.
- Bathe, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for treatment or examination.