If you’re looking for the opportunity to work in the healthcare industry, consider becoming a patient care technician. You might be wondering, “what is a patient care technician?” A patient care technician (PCT) is known for directly supporting patients under the supervision of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. PCTs are passionate about caring for others and are a patient’s support throughout their stay in a hospital or long-term care facility, or perhaps during a medical visit. Support can vary based on physical or mental health concerns or where the PCT works.
Explore this guide and learn more about a patient care technician’s job description, PCT duties, and responsibilities, where PCTs work and if the job is challenging, career outlook, and how to enroll in a patient care tech program.
Find out if a PCT job is the right fit, who knows maybe you can become the person that improves patients’ lives in comfort and experience.
What is a patient care technician’s job description?
A patient care technician’s job description will often emphasize daily care for patients. PCTs should be qualified and skilled in in-patient care to join a healthcare organization.
Patient care technicians are essential in healthcare facilities because they work directly with patients, doctors, and a medical health team. PCTs are also team players because their job requires working in an effective environment with other healthcare professionals. PCTs can also be the primary source of communication between patients and doctors or nurses. Effective communication and organizational skills are needed to track patients and relay important messages.
Patient care technicians are responsible for being attentive and empathetic toward patients and their families. A patient care technician can provide direct and indirect care to patients. Their support can range from helping patients walk, dress, bathe, or eat/drink to cleaning rooms and monitoring health conditions. A PCT should strive to improve the lives of others who cannot care for themselves.
What does a patient care technician do?
The day-to-day responsibilities of a patient care technician can vary based on patient needs and the work environment. In most cases, the tasks revolve around caring for the patient. Patient care technicians observe, catalog, and communicate needs and concerns to the medical staff regarding patients. PCTs, report and stay on top of any changes related to patient health.
Patient care technicians’ duties can include but are not limited to:
- Taking and charting vitals
- Taking electrocardiograms
- Drawing blood and collecting urine samples
- Basic wound care
- Assisting patients with mobilization
- Helping patients perform daily tasks
- Listening and documenting patient concerns
- Meeting with patient families to discuss patient health
- Performing phlebotomy
These patient care technician duties are vital parts to patient care. By taking responsibility for these tasks, PCTs can improve the environment for patients.
Where can patient care technicians work?
Patient care technicians can work in a variety of settings where nurses, doctors, and a medical team need assistance. PCTs can work in:
- Medical practitioners’ office
- Rehabilitation centers
- Nursing homes
- Resident care facilities
- Government agencies
- Home care facilities
Is being a patient care technician hard?
Being a patient care technician is rewarding work, but it can sometimes be emotionally draining because some patients can become very ill or even die. There is a likely chance as a PCT; one is assigned the same patient to care for and oversee. Losing some of these patients can affect a PCT emotionally due to the close bonds. The bright side is to remember that as a PCT, patients know who cares for them and is there when they need love and support. Helping people is what can make the PCT career path rewarding.
Patient Care Tech Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing assistants and orderlies (positions that can be filled by patient care technicians) is projected to grow 5% from 2021-2031.1
Enrolling in a patient care tech program
To become a PCT, you must meet specific steps. First, complete the prerequisite of obtaining a high school diploma or GED. Search and select an accredited college, or training program. Enroll and fulfill PCT program requirements. Finally, graduate from a patient care technician program and pass the PCT certification exam, which can show prospective employers that you demonstrate the knowledge and skill needed to be an effective PCT.
Students who earn a certification may be able to work under the supervision of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. Certification may not be required for PCTs, but it can help in instances where prospective employers prefer to hire certified PCTs.
Are you ready to become a Patient Care Tech?
Now that we’ve established “what is a patient care technician?” and what they do, it’s time to take action and enroll in a patient care tech program.
The goal of a PCT program is to have aspiring PCTs confident in their abilities. Wherever you choose to earn your patient care technician diploma, it’s worth considering training programs that offer practical experience and job placement assistance upon completing a diploma program.
In just a year, you could be brightening other people’s lives daily every time you come to work. Be a valuable team member in the medical field and enroll in a patient care tech program.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm (visited September 08, 2022).