A career in the medical field is rewarding no matter where you land, but working as a patient care technician comes with its own level of fulfillment. In this hands-on role, you’ll have the opportunity to provide life-saving care and bring forth positive change in your community on a daily basis. Now, you may be wondering, “What is a patient care technician? What do they do? Where do they work?”
In short, a patient care technician works alongside medical professionals, like nurses and doctors, in a variety of healthcare facilities. Their job is to provide care and support and act as a liaison between patients, their families, and their healthcare team. However, the duties of a PCT don’t end there. Below, we’ll outline a patient care technician’s primary responsibilities, salary, and job prospects.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Patient Care Technician?
Being a patient care technician means you’ll be tasked with handling your patient’s needs as well as the needs of their family. No matter which healthcare facility you work at, you can anticipate the following responsibilities:
- Handling patient meals
- Changing the patient’s bedding
- Assisting with the patient’s needs (mobility, exercise, bathing, etc.)
- Supporting patients and their loved ones
- Taking vitals
- Collecting blood and urine samples
- CPR and basic first aid
While these are the more basic tasks of a PCT, you may be required to handle others as well. With this job, you may find yourself working days, nights, and even weekends. This may seem overwhelming, but this schedule allows you to become the best at what you do while creating great experiences and long-lasting relationships with your patients and their families.
What Key Skills Do You Need as a PCT?
Many things separate good patient care technicians from the great ones. Along with proper certifications and licenses, the Bureau of Labor Statistics believes these are the top skills to possess as an excellent PCT:
Communication: It’s necessary to provide clear communication to patients about procedures, medications, and more. Having this skill will also help you relay your patient’s needs to their medical team.
Compassion: This is an excellent quality to have when assisting elderly, sick, or injured patients and communicating with their families.
Patience: Any job in the healthcare industry can be taxing and stressful. As a patient care technician, you’ll care for those who can’t care for themselves; this will require a high level of patience and understanding.
Stamina: This line of work will require you to be on your feet for long periods and perform physical tasks, such as lifting patients or assisting them with bathing. Be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of work to keep up with the physical requirements of the job.
Where Can a PCT Work?
Being a patient care technician automatically makes you an invaluable asset to any medical facility. Doctors and nurses stay very busy and can always use the extra hands PCTs offer. With proper training, education, and skills, you could find employment in places like:
- Ambulatory services
- Nursing homes
- Residential care facilities
- Long-term care facilities
- Home healthcare services
- Government facilities
Depending on your specialties, you could find work in other places as well. In this career, the more you know, the more opportunities you have.
How Do I Become A Patient Care Technician?
Now that you understand the field, it’s time to get started on your exciting career as a patient care technician. At Woodruff, we offer in-class instructions as well as real-world experience with seasoned professionals. You’ll have the opportunity to work hands-on with high-tech equipment, learn from highly-trained instructors, and network while training at a medical facility during your externship. Once you’ve completed our program, you’ll be equipped with many skills to qualify you for positions at multiple facilities.