Career Development

What Does a Patient Care Technician Do?

Find out what a patient care technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a patient care technician.

Patient care technicians (PCTs) are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. They provide basic patient care services such as taking vital signs, feeding patients, assisting with exercise or physical therapy, etc.

Patient care technicians may also be responsible for performing clerical tasks such as filing paperwork, answering phones, scheduling appointments, etc.

Patient Care Technician Job Duties

Patient care technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Keeping detailed records on patient care activities such as administering medication and recording blood pressure readings
  • Providing emotional support to patients and families during difficult times or when patients are leaving the hospital after treatment
  • Communicating with physicians and other medical staff regarding patient progress and needs
  • Collecting, storing, processing and distributing lab specimens in a timely manner
  • Providing basic nursing care such as bathing patients and assisting them with grooming and dressing
  • Preparing patients for examinations or surgery by helping them put on gowns and drapes, as well as preparing operating rooms or examination rooms for exams
  • Observing patients to monitor their health status and reactions to treatment
  • Helping patients with disabilities or chronic conditions take care of their daily needs
  • Recording vital signs such as weight, temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels using equipment such as stethoscopes and thermometers

Patient Care Technician Salary & Outlook

Patient care technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of patient care technicians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for healthcare services will increase as the large baby-boom population ages and people continue to live longer. As a result, more healthcare providers will need to hire patient care technicians to provide basic medical care and support.

Related: In-Depth Patient Care Technician Salary Guide

Patient Care Technician Job Requirements

A patient care technician typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A high school diploma is a minimum requirement for patient care technicians. However, many employers prefer a patient care technician with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in health care, nursing or a related field.

Training & Experience: Most employers will provide on-the-job training for new patient care technicians. This training will teach you how to use equipment, clean rooms and interact with patients. You may also learn how to properly dispose of waste and how to properly clean and sterilize equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications for patient care technicians will depend on the state and the employer’s requirements. Some patient care technicians may be required to obtain a certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification under state regulations. Some employers may also require a certified medication assistant (CMA) certification if the professional will be administering medication as part of their job duties. Check state and employer requirements to determine which certifications are necessary to become a patient care technician in your area.

Patient Care Technician Skills

Patient care technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information through speech, writing or other methods. As a patient care technician, you may be required to communicate with patients, other medical staff and patients’ families. Effective communication can help you to provide quality care and ensure that patients and their families understand their treatment options.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. As a patient care technician, empathy can help you connect with patients and make them feel comfortable. For example, if a patient is nervous about a procedure, you can use empathy to help them feel more comfortable. You can ask them questions to get to know them better and learn more about their fears. Then, you can use your knowledge to help them feel more comfortable.

Organization: Organization is a crucial skill for patient care technicians, as they often have many tasks to complete in a short period of time. Keeping track of their schedules, patient files and other responsibilities is important for patient care technicians, as it allows them to complete their work efficiently.

Multitasking: Patient care technicians often work with other medical professionals and support staff to ensure that patients receive the care they need. This often requires the ability to multitask, as you may be responsible for multiple patients at once. Patient care technicians may also be responsible for keeping records, monitoring equipment and other tasks at the same time.

Medical knowledge: Medical knowledge is the ability to understand medical terminology and procedures. This is an important skill for patient care technicians because it allows them to understand the needs of patients and the treatments they receive. Medical knowledge can be improved through continuing education, training and experience.

Patient Care Technician Work Environment

Patient care technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They may work in a variety of settings, including medical and surgical units, labor and delivery units, and emergency rooms. They may also work in outpatient care centers, long-term care facilities, or home healthcare agencies. Patient care technicians typically work full time, and some may work evenings, weekends, or holidays. They may also be on call, which means they are available to work at any time. Some patient care technicians may be required to work overtime to meet the needs of their patients.

Patient Care Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how patient care technicians work. Patient care technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Patient Care Technicians

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly, which means that there is a need for more patient care technicians. This trend is driven by the increasing demand for healthcare services, as well as the aging population.

As the need for patient care technicians increases, so too will the demand for professionals who are qualified to provide this type of care. Patient care technicians can play an important role in helping to meet the needs of patients and their families, which makes this a very desirable career path.

Patient Satisfaction Will Be More Important Than Ever

As hospitals and other medical facilities move towards a more patient-centered model of care, patient satisfaction will become even more important than it already is.

This shift means that patient care technicians will need to be able to provide excellent customer service and work hard to make sure that patients are happy with the care they receive. In order to be successful in this new environment, patient care technicians will need to be able to understand what patients want and how to give it to them.

More Use of Technology in Healthcare

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry. This is due to the fact that technology can help to improve the quality of care that is provided to patients.

As technology becomes more prevalent in healthcare, patient care technicians will need to learn how to use these tools in order to provide the best possible care for patients. This includes learning how to use electronic health records, as well as using technology to communicate with other members of the healthcare team.

How to Become a Patient Care Technician

A Patient Care Technician career can be a great way to start your healthcare career. As a Patient Care Technician, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about different areas of medicine and patient care. You’ll also develop important skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

As you progress in your career, you may want to specialize in a particular area of medicine or patient care. You could become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or a Registered Nurse (RN). You could also choose to specialize in a certain type of patient, such as children, adults, or seniors.

Related: How to Write a Patient Care Technician Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance your career as a patient care technician is to get more education. You can start by getting a certificate, which will give you the basic skills and knowledge you need to work in the field. Once you have a certificate, you can then get an associate’s degree, which will give you more advanced skills and knowledge. With an associate’s degree, you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. You can also advance your career by getting a bachelor’s degree, which will give you even more advanced skills and knowledge. With a bachelor’s degree, you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and research facilities.

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