If you love kids, then maybe working as a Patient Care Technician (PCT) in the pediatric wing of a hospital is the perfect career for you. You will get to be around little ones all day, helping them feel better when they are sick and tending to their wounds. While working with kids can be a lot of fun, it can also be exhausting, physically and emotionally. However, one thing is for sure: You will learn a lot. Here are a few things you will learn as a pediatric patient care technician.
What Does a Pediatric Patient Care Technician Do?
Pediatric patient care technicians spend their days keeping the comfort and wellbeing of their young patients in mind. While doctors focus on health and treatments, the job duties of a patient care technician involve helping patients dress, bathe, eat, and stay comfortable in bed. PCTs may also be responsible for checking patients’ vital signs, collecting samples, and keeping hospital rooms clean and sanitary. The job of a PCT, especially one working with children, can be stressful and tiring. However, it can also be a rewarding job if you are passionate about helping little ones.
Benefits of Working as a Pediatric PCT
If you are considering a medical career working with kids, starting as a pediatric PCT is a great place to start. In many cases, once you become a registered nurse or medical doctor specializing in pediatrics, you are only qualified to work with children from then on. That means if you get into the field and realize that working with little ones is not for you, you may have to go back to school before you can change careers in the medical field. However, as a pediatric PCT, you will have the chance to work with children in a medical setting without the commitment or time investment. This way, you can see if pediatrics is truly the career path for you without feeling stuck. Once you have decided that working with kids is the right choice, you can use your PCT certification to jumpstart your career as a nurse or doctor. Additionally, if you realize that you would prefer to work with another demographic instead of children, there are still plenty of other career options for PCTs.
What You’ll Learn as a Pediatric Care Technician
There are a lot of things you will gain in school when training to be a PCT. However, once you are out in the field, there are still plenty of lessons to learn. This is especially true when working with kids. Here are a few things you may learn as a pediatric patient care technician.
1. Kids are Resilient
If you have ever seen a child crash their bike and immediately jump up and brush the dirt off, you know how resilient kids can be. Often, their ability to remain positive and heal quickly comes from the support of the adults around them. Children often reflect the moods around them, which is why it will be important for you as a PCT to stay upbeat around your young patients to ensure they have a speedy recovery.
2. A Part of Working with Kids is Working with their Families
Having a child in the hospital can be a stressful time for parents. They are going to have a lot of questions, require plenty of assurance, and may not always be the most positive people to work with. As a PCT, your work with children will require communicating with parents and family members. It will be important to stay positive and encouraging for their benefit as well.
3. You Will Need to Care for Yourself Too
Working with young patients who are suffering from traumatic injuries and terminal illnesses can take a toll on your emotions and mental health. Since a part of caring for others is caring for yourself, it will be important to practice self-care and mindfulness daily. This can include seeing a therapist, keeping a journal or simply having a person to vent to.
4. You Must Always Be Ready to Listen
Sometimes, it may be tempting to tune out a child or parent who won’t stop talking your ear off. However, it is vital to the wellbeing of your patients that you pay attention to everything they are telling you. Feeling heard can help a patient or parent feel validated and more comfortable during a difficult time. Additionally, there may be some underlying information in what they are saying that could help with their recovery. Always keeping an ear out for important details that you could pass along to a nurse or doctor could save a patient’s life.