The patient care technician (PCT) cares for the injured, physically and mentally ill, disabled or infirm patients in many different health care settings including rehabilitation facilities. They work under the supervision of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to monitor the patient’s condition. The role of the patient care technician is a vital contribution to the medical team as they have the most direct contact with the patient of any of the members of the team.
Specific Duties of the Patient Care Technician
- Respond to patient’s calls for assistance
- Assist patient with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene
- Serve meals and feed patient if they are unable to feed themselves
- Monitor and record vital signs
- Observe and record the patient’s physical, mental and emotional condition
- EKG’s, phlebotomy and other clinical tasks
- Move and transport patient from bed to wheelchair and back or assist the patient in walking
- Make beds and keep patient’s room clean and neat
- Set up and operate therapeutic equipment and supplies
- Assist doctors and nurses during examinations and treatment procedures
Education and Certification
Classes are usually in a program that generally run about six to 12 weeks and can be found in a local trade school, community college or local hospital. Upon completion of coursework and hands-on skill training, the PCT must pass a certification examination in order to work in the field. Don’t be discouraged and think that you can’t take advantage of an online PCT training program because of the hands-on nature of the training. The online patient care technician programs also include this type of skill training in their curriculum and will direct you to where you can complete this portion of your training in a facility near you. By the way, a typical PCT program may also equip the student to become a CNA – Certified Nurse Assistant
Who Should Consider a Career as a Patient Care Technician?
You should contemplate this career if the thought of working in the health care field is attractive to you and especially if the thought of spending far more time in direct contact with your patients than with paperwork sounds good to you.
Your main duty as a patient care technician is to support the daily care of the physical, mental and emotional condition of your patients. If you are looking for glamour, this career is not for you. You will spend many hours bathing, feeding and recording life signs of your patients. If you are looking, though, for a position that often makes the most impact on a patient, then this career is for you.
The Future of the Patient Care Technician
The demand is great and growing for the PCT. Due to technical advances in the medical industry, doctors can see more patients per day than ever before, resulting in the need for more and more patient care technicians. On the average, the entry level PCT can expect a decent annual salary