ER Tech 101: How to Become an Emergency Room Technician

The task of saving lives is a not an easy one. It demands teamwork and skills, especially of an ER tech.

The emergency room technician is tasked to perform blood tests, take vital signs, perform electrocardiogram testing, apply sutures and splints, ready patients for emergency procedures and so much more.

er tech

If this is something that you think you would want to do for the rest of your life, here are some guidelines you can take:


  • Basic Life Support (BLS): Although this is not a common requirement, some ER tech programs require applicants to get BLS training before enrolling. When an individual has completed this course, he will be knowledgeable in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Heimlich maneuver and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).


  • EMT-Basic Training Program: There are various courses that ER tech aspirants can take in universities, technical schools, community colleges, hospitals, EMS academies and post-secondary institutions. To enrol, the individual should at least be 18 years old and carrying a high school diploma (or any equivalent academic qualification).


There are certification programs and associate degree programs that are offered in schools where students can obtain the theoretical and practical knowledge that allows them to function as an emergency room technician. The curriculum offered in training programs vary greatly depending on the State and the institution. Most programs run for as long as 2 years, but there are fast-track courses that provide aspirants with the privilege to gain certification in as fast as two weeks.


  • Certification Examination: Every ER tech graduate is supposed to undergo a certification examination. Without this certification, a degree holder will not be able to practice and handle patients in the hospital. Some licences are specific to certain States. Like most professional licensure examinations, one needs to secure a certificate from the State one wishes to practice in.


  •  Externship Program: Before a graduate is able to work as a full-time employee in the hospital, he will need to take part in an externship program to gain the hands-on experience. These programs will expose the ER tech to real hospital cases and conditions, and they will be given the privilege to work on patients, under the supervision of highly trained specialists.


As an EMT-Basic personnel, you will have the chance of working in the emergency department and have the privilege of travelling with the ambulance. As an EMT-Basic, you will come into close contact with patients, help assess their initial condition and transport them to the nearby medical facility to receive proper treatment.


  • Employment Requirements: There are a number of requirements that an employment or training program may require from an applicant:


a. Immunizations: Even before an individual is allowed to take part in an externship ER tech program, he will need to get immunized. As part of the medical team, you will be exposed to various diseases and immunizations will protect the individual from infection.


b. Background Check: Since the ER tech will work in the hospital and be in direct contact with a lot of people, a background check to look for existing criminal records is essential. This is a standard prerequisite for various industries and it is an important requirement for emergency room technicians. It enables the safety of the patients and the other people in the medical team.


  • Additional Training and Certifications: Depending on the job, employer, institution or organization, there may be additional training that an ER tech needs to undergo to gain specialized skills. A paramedic program is often very useful to aspirants because it gives them the privilege to advance their career as an ER technician.


Do you want to be an ER tech and become part of a team that saves lives on a day-to-day basis?

The job of being an emergency room technician is not a small one. But with the right training and guidance, you can be well on your way to making a difference in people’s lives.

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