An emergency department technician is a person who assists doctors and nurses with the treatment of patients in an emergency room of a medical facility. Some helpful skills to have for this position are quick thinking, a broad medical knowledge and the ability to handle stress. Generally speaking, a person will need a high school diploma or equivalent and training from a vocational school to obtain a position in this field. While the specific tasks of an emergency department technician can vary from day to day, this job has five primary duties. These include evaluating patients upon arrival, documenting medical histories, helping with patient treatment, advising patients on medication usage and taking care of equipment.
Usually, the first thing an emergency department technician will do is evaluate the condition of the patient upon arrival. This might include checking vital signs, examining wounds and taking blood pressure. Along with this, he will try to calm and comfort patients in emotional distress. Due to the wide variety of emergencies, an individual must be skilled in handling all types of medical complications.
In most cases, he will also be responsible for documenting each patient's medical history. For patients who are coherent, he will try to obtain as much information as possible and record it in a file. He will also answer any questions that a patient or family members may have concerning the situation. This aspect of the job requires an emergency department technician to have sound communication skills.
Another large part of this job is helping doctors or nurses with patient treatment. For example, an emergency department technician might treat a wound, put sutures in place or attach life support equipment. He may also transport a patient who is unable to walk by stretcher or wheelchair. To provide patients with optimal care, it's important for an individual in this role to effectively follow orders from superiors.
After the patient has been stabilized, an emergency department technician will often advise him or her on the use of medication. Some information he might cover would be the amount of medication to take and the frequency of use. Besides this, he will usually go over any potential side effects that could result from the medication.
In addition, an emergency department technician might be responsible for taking care of equipment and monitoring supplies. This may include sanitizing an ambulance, sterilizing medical equipment and wiping down countertops. Besides this, he might also take inventory on disposable items like rubber gloves, syringes and IV bags. When items are running low, he will be in charge of telling a superior or ordering new supplies himself.