When you arrive in the hospital and need medical attention fast, an emergency room (ER) technician
(“tech” for short) is there to help.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that injury and poisoning-related emergencies are the most common problem for patients treated at the hospital and released. Meanwhile, circulatory system conditions are the most common for patients admitted to the hospital. Regardless of whether you need a bone set, stitches, or you feel like you might be experiencing a heart attack when you enter the emergency room, you are often putting your life in someone else’s hands. Who handles ER patients? Whether you are treated and released or admitted into the hospital, an ER tech on duty becomes responsible for assessing your symptoms, stabilizing your condition, communicating with you and your loved ones, and much more.
What other functions are part of the ER tech job? How can you become an emergency room technician
with a licensed practical nurse (LPN) diploma? Let’s find out what an LPN ER tech job entails!
Can LPNs Work in the Emergency Room?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38 percent of LPNs work in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Many LPNs find fulfillment in working with elderly people or those who have long-term care needs. However, if you’re looking for a faster-paced environment and you want every day to feel different from the last, working in a hospital as an ER tech could be the right choice. The BLS also reports that 14 percent of LPNs work in hospitals.
Traditional LPN jobs involve basic care provision for patients, such as bathing and feeding patients or residents, helping them sit, stand, or move, and tracking basic health measures such as heart rate and blood pressure. LPNs who work in nursing homes or residential care may take the opportunity to develop relationships with patients and their visitors. The nature of long-term care makes this possible. The LPN ER tech job, however, involves a different list of responsibilities.
What Does an ER Tech Do?
In the emergency room, ER technicians are responsible for the following duties:
- Collect and provide data on patient conditions to doctors and nurses on your team.
- Resuscitate and apply CPR to patients; use electrocardiograms (EKGs).
- Apply IVs and/or catheters (depending on the state of employment).
- Monitor patient oxygen levels, blood pressure, and cardiac status.
- Prepare rooms for new patients and medical equipment for procedures.
- Assist during medical procedures, such as putting on a cast or dressing a wound.
- Collect blood, urine, or other samples from patients for testing.
- Physically move patients to other areas of the hospital, facilitate paperwork for patients to be
discharged, and prepare patients to transition from the hospital environment.
- Educate patients on what to expect during recovery, and also on how to use supporting
equipment such as crutches.
The skills practiced and topics learned in an LPN program, including conducting a physical assessment,
CPR training, data collection standards, and delegation of patient care, are all utilized in traditional LPN
jobs as well as in LPN jobs as an ER tech. Some professional qualities and personality traits are
particularly helpful for LPN emergency room jobs, such as:
1. Prioritization and delegation capabilities – You may have multiple patients simultaneously in
the ER, all experiencing dangerous health situations. The best emergency room techs act cool
and keep thinking logically under pressure. They are also excellent at collaborating with
teammates to save lives!
2. Strong communication skills and a compassionate approach – Family members wait on the
edge of their seats to hear news from you and your team. Your ability to convey hard news in an
empathetic manner can make all the difference for frightened patients and nervous relatives in
the waiting room.
3. Ability to go with the flow – Emergency healthcare is anything but expected. ER techs may be
called in to work an extra shift or fulfill duties that do not typically belong to them. Flexibility is a
key train for ER techs.
Becoming an ER Tech
Stone Academy’s Practical Nursing program can be completed in as few as 16 months. Graduates can then take the NCLEX-PN exam to obtain their state licensure, and start applying to LPN emergency room jobs such as those you can find on LinkedIn! The ER tech salary is estimated to be, on average, $57,075annually, which is considerably more than the average, national LPN salary of $48,070 annually. It’s exciting to learn that not only are there more LPN pathways besides long-term care but also that a person can potentially earn more than average as an LPN with emergency room experience.
To discover more about what the Stone Academy program can do for your healthcare career as an ER tech, please visit us online, or call 800-585-1315.