A Patient Care Technician is a great option for someone with little experience looking to get into the medical field. It can be a life-long career or a stepping stone to becoming a registered nurse or NP. A patient care technician has many opportunities for growth and learning in their respective field. The variety of career options gives them the chance to choose a work environment best suited for their skills and level of commitment, making patient care an incredibly sought after and valuable occupation.
Patient Care Technicians aid RNs and LPNs mostly, by assisting them with patients. This includes helping with monitoring vitals, feeding, transporting, and helping with hygienic needs. Some PCT occupations may involve more clinical responsibilities while others tend to be more administrative. PCTs are employed by a number of medical workplaces, such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health care companies, and assisted living centers.
Patient Care Technicians in Nursing Homes
Because of the ever-growing elderly population, the need for nursing assistants is always increasing. PCTs working in a nursing home or assisted living care facility will work under the supervision of a certified nurse or doctor. Responsibilities might include helping patients with hygiene and grooming, transporting patients or resident to and from activities, and assisting with meal and bathroom needs. A PCT will also report and monitor fluctuations in eating, health habits, and behavior. Depending on the facility’s needs, housekeeping may also be a requirement. Aiding the elderly, although demanding, is a very rewarding job in patient care.
Patient Care Technicians in Hospitals
Hospitals are the second largest employer of Patient Care Technicians. Due to the hands-on medical experience, it may be a preferable work environment to some. While working in a hospital, a PCT would report to a nurse or doctor. Responsibilities may include reviewing patient medical records, filling out paperwork, and ensuring medical inventory and supplies are readily available. Sometimes direct patient care is a duty for a PCT. This might include grooming, feeding or getting dressed. A patient care technician may also opt to work in a specific area, such as a department that specializes in a particular illness (i.e. cancer treatment, prenatal or infant care, burn units, or stroke recovery).
Patient Care Technicians in Home Health Care
PCTs are also needed in the home health care business. This includes aiding with elderly patients and patients with disabilities. In a home health care job, the patient care technician may help with day to day needs, such as feeding, hygiene and grooming, dressing, and other simple tasks. Other chores and responsibilities may be transporting patients to their obligations, appointments and errands.
Patient Care Technicians in Doctor’s Offices
A less common employment opportunity for a patient care technician would be a job in a doctor’s office or a health care clinic. In this job, the PCT will have a more administrative role rather than be a medical caregiver. PCTs will need to have extensive office skills and abilities such as filing, managing patient charts and records, and answering calls and managing appointments. Medical knowledge and technical skills are still required to record and monitor vitals like weight, height, and blood pressure or to aid doctors and nurses with blood drawing, wound treatment, and special tests.
Overall Job Growth for Patient Care Technicians
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the value of a patient care technician job will increase drastically over the next decade due to the increase in demand. There are varied salaries in this field, the lower end of the chart being around $18,000 for the administrative jobs, such as a position in a doctor’s office, whereas the higher end is over $35,000 annually for the more medically demanding positions. Working as a PCT is a great way to get your foot in the door of your chosen career field. There are plenty of chances to learn, grow, and advance your career from this position, which makes the experience of being a PCT an invaluable one.
Considering becoming a PCT? Woodruff Medical can help you grow your skills and advance your career. Learn more today at www.woodruffmedical.edu.