An emergency room (ER) technician works alongside emergency room doctors and registered nurses as a first-line caregiver in a modern hospital setting. This technician essentially performs the more routine processes that make up patient care in this setting. The tech also helps to relay care information and observations back to doctors and nurses.
The ER tech may draw blood for testing. He or she may help set up any equipment in an exam room. In many emergency rooms, the tech is responsible for daily setup. They also perform inspections and cleaning of routinely used mechanical equipment, and they are expected to report any problems that may require repair immediately. Techs can also administer the setup of an IV for patients in the ER.
While ER technicians are not usually registered nurses, this is still a position that requires technical or vocational training and certification. Many ER techs go to work in this field after receiving this certification, although this position can be the first step towards seeking out a career that requires higher training in the medical field. ER techs are typically assigned to shift work that can involve daytime, evenings, or overnights, and work on weekends and holidays is also often a requirement. Techs work in a fast-paced environment.
Emergency Room (ER) Technician Tasks
Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure vital signs, if possible.
Bathe, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for treatment or examination.
Observe patients' conditions and vital signs, and report changes to professional staff.
Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
Assist emergency room staff in caring for injured or ill patients.