How to Become an ER Tech in 5 Steps

ER techs are in high demand! Here’s a guide on how to become an ER tech in 5 steps, including training and certification requirements.

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Introduction

It takes a special person to work in the emergency room. Not only do you have to be able to handle the stress that comes with the job, but you also need to have the right training and certifications.

Fortunately, becoming an ER tech is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right training and certification, you can be on your way to a rewarding career in no time. Here are five steps to becoming an ER tech:

1. Complete a certified nurse assistant (CNA) or emergency medical technician (EMT) program.
2. Obtain certification from the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
3. Pass a state-approved exam.
4. Complete on-the-job training.
5. Maintain certification through continuing education courses.

Step One: Get a high school diploma or GED

Emergency room technicians (ERTs) work under the supervision of nurses and doctors to provide care to patients in the emergency room. They are responsible for taking vital signs, drawing blood, and performing EKGs. If you have a desire to help people and want to work in a fast-paced environment, becoming an ERT may be the right career choice for you.

The first step to becoming an ERT is to get a high school diploma or GED. Many ERTs have an associate’s degree or higher, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Once you have your high school diploma or GED, you can start training to become an ERT.

There are two main ways to become an ERT: on-the-job training or completing an accredited program. Many hospitals offer on-the-job training for those who want to become ERTs. This type of training usually lasts about six months and includes both classroom and clinical instruction.

Alternatively, you can choose to complete an accredited program at a community college or technical school. These programs usually take about two years to complete and include both classroom and clinical instruction. Once you have completed your training, you will need to obtain state certification and/or licensure before you can start working as an ERT.

Step Two: Attend an accredited EMT program

Emergency medical technician (EMT) programs are typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. Many programs can be completed in as little as one semester, although some may last up to two years.

While attending an EMT program, students will take courses in emergency medical care, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology. Students will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through clinical rotations at local hospitals and ambulance companies.

EMT programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC).

Step Three: Become licensed and certified

There are two ways to become an ER tech: via certified training programs or by completing on-the-job training. If you opt for the latter, you’ll need to become licensed and certified. You can do both at the same time by taking a certification exam administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). The NHA’s Certified Emergency Room Technician (CERT) program requires candidates to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete a training program or have at least one year of full-time work experience as an ER tech. Candidates must also pass a written exam.

Step Four: Find a job

Most likely, you will not be able to find an entry-level position as an ER tech. You will need to find a job in another area of the hospital and then put in a request to be transferred to the ER once you have proven yourself as a valuable employee. You can also look for ER tech jobs in other healthcare facilities, such as urgent care centers, outpatient surgery centers, and private practices.

Step Five: Advance your career

Although certification is not required to work as an ER tech, many employers prefer to hire candidates who are certified. Certification shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job. The two main certifying bodies for ER techs are the National Healthcare Association and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited ER tech training program and have passed a national exam.

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