Patient Care Technician FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What a Patient Care Technician Does
What type of work does a Patient Care Technician do?
Patient Care Technicians provide care to patients of all types, depending upon specific floor/unit assignment. Specific duties may include (but are not limited to): measuring vital signs, input and output, assisting with patient mobility, incontinent care, bathing and dressing patients and communicating with patients and families while applying critical thinking in a fast paced environment.
Where do Patient Care Technicians work?
Patient Care Technicians may work in hospitals, medical labs, doctors Offices, home health care agencies, extended care facilities, and nursing care facilities.
Will I be able to find a job?
It’s important to note that no school can guarantee employment. Here at Dorsey Schools, we offer career services assistance to all eligible graduates of the Patient Care Technician program. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page. It is worth noting though that according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing assistants and orderlies (positions that can be filled by Patient Care Technician graduates) is projected to grow by 17% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.a In addition, according to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of nursing assistants (positions that can be filled by Patient Care Technician graduates) is projected to grow by 9.7% from 2014 to 2024. Employment of orderlies (positions that can also be filled by Patient Care Technician graduates) is projected to grow by 8.8% from 2014 to 2024.b
How much can I expect to make as a Patient Care Technician?
Here are some helpful websites that will allow you to view information on Wages & Employment trends:
- Michigan Occupational Wage Information (The SOC for Nursing Assistants and Orderlies (positions that can be filled by Patient Care Technician graduates is 31-1014)
- O*NET Online (Scroll down to Wages & Employment Trends to view helpful info on National/State trends)
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain as a Patient Care Technician?
Patient Care Technicians may work under other occupational titles such as Patient Care Technician, Patient Care Associate, Home Health Care Aide, Nursing Care Associate, Clinical Support Associate, Certified Nurse Aide, Certified Nursing Assistant, Geriatric Nursing Assistant, Nurse’s Aide, Nursing Assistant, and Nursing Aide. Please note – some of the positions listed above will require a graduate to obtain certification with the State of Michigan in order to obtain gainful employment in these specific roles.
How is a Patient Care Technician different from other healthcare professionals?
Patient Care Technicians typically work on the front lines providing patient care. Patient Care Technicians often differ from other healthcare workers in terms of where they work, the patients they work with, and the tasks they perform. For example, it would not be uncommon for a Patient Care Tech to work in a hospital with different types of patients, however, Nurse Aides (who perform similar functions) typically work in Nursing Homes and Extended Care facilities most often with the elderly.
Are there other career opportunities for Patient Care Technicians?
Some may choose to use a career as a Patient Care Technician as an entryway into the healthcare field. It would not be uncommon for a Patient Care Technician to work in the field to gain experience and later go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials.
Becoming a Patient Care Technician
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing any career, it’s important that someone look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can I see myself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and am I going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do I have the skills/traits/characteristics that one may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook/trends for this position?
I have no medical background/experience in healthcare – can I really do this?
You can! Many Patient Care Technicians have little to no dental healthcare experience prior to beginning their training. That’s why it’s very important for someone interested in becoming a Patient Care Technician to evaluate their school and training options closely.
What type of training is needed?
Patient Care Technicians typically attend a post-secondary school or institution to obtain training. Many of these programs lead to a certificate or a diploma and typically take one year or less to complete. It’s also important to note that since Patient Care Technicians work very closely with patients in the actual occupational setting, it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has a strong hands-on component so they can “learn by doing.”
How long do I have to go to school?
Many Patient Care Technician programs can be completed in a year or less. In choosing a program, it’s important for someone to evaluate the training that is included so they can ensure they are receiving the training they need (and want) prior to entering the field as a Patient Care Technician.
What are important characteristics for Patient Care Technician to have?
While this isn’t a full list of important characteristics, Patient Care Technicians should have good communication skills, compassion, patience, and physical stamina. If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be a good Patient Care Technician, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is Certification/Licensure required to obtain employment as a Patient Care Technician?
While certification may not be required for employment as a Patient Care Technician in all instances, obtaining certification can enhance the prospect of ultimately securing and maintaining employment. It’s also important to note that some positions and/or occupational roles that Patient Care Technicians may pursue will require certification in order to obtain gainful employment. In order to assist our graduates, Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
The Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician Program
What will be covered in the program?
The Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician program offers instruction in both a traditional classroom setting as well as a hands-on environment by way of the lab at Dorsey Schools in addition to an externship that will take place during the final module of training. Students enrolled in the Patient Care Technician program will be exposed to a variety of topics including (but not limited to):
- Business Communications and Interpersonal Skills
- Medical Terminology
- Anatomy, Physiology, and Mechanisms of Disease
- Effectively and Accurately Taking Health History and Physical Measurements
- Surgical Asepsis and Pharmacology
- First Aid and CPR
- Assisting with the Physical Needs of Patients
- Assisting with the Healing Process
- End of Life Care
- The Role of Assistive Personnel in Healthcare
- And more…!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! Students will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in both the labs on campus at Dorsey Schools as well as during their externship.
What’s the externship and why is that important?
The externship will take place during the last module of training and will provide students with an opportunity to apply skills they have learned throughout their training in an actual occupational setting.
How long is the program?
The Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician program is designed to be completed in one year.
Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Our instructors meet the criteria set forth by the State of Michigan as well as the criteria set forth by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (Dorsey Schools’ institutional accrediting body).
Why should I choose Dorsey over another school?
Students choose Dorsey Schools over other Career Training Schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
Which Dorsey campuses offer the Patient Care Technician program?
The Patient Care Technician program is offered at the following Dorsey Schools campus locations: Dearborn, MI; Madison Heights, MI; Roseville, MI; Southgate, MI; and Waterford-Pontiac, MI.
How do I enroll?
If you’re interested in enrolling in the Patient Care Technician program at Dorsey Schools, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.
Does your program include certification?
While actual certification is not included in the curriculum of the Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician program, graduates may go on to challenge a certification exam. For those who wish to challenge a certification exam, Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Will your program prepare me for certification?
The Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician program is designed to prepare students to go on to challenge a certification exam.
Is your school accredited?
Yes, Dorsey Schools is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
What is the tuition for the program?
The current tuition for the Dorsey Schools Patient Care Technician program can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes books, a tablet, a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, one medical scrub uniform, externship drug testing and background check, and Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey Schools offers Career Services assistance to all eligible graduates, however, job placement is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about Patient Care Technicians, info pertaining to Jobs as a Patient Care Technician, the work Patient Care Technicians do, etc.:
aBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm (visited July 11, 2016).
bMichigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2014-2024) Michigan Statewide, Nursing Assistants (SOC Code: 31-1014) and Orderlies (SOC Code: 31-1015), http://milmi.mt.gov/Portals/137/publications/projectionsdata/LongTerm_OccupationalProj_2024_MI.xlsx (visited July 11, 2016).
Michigan Occupational Wage Information: http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=124
O*Net Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-1014.00
Dorsey Schools Gainful Employment Disclosures for the Patient Care Technician program: For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.