In this article, you will find comprehensive information about the job of a patient care technician.
We will cover the main responsibilities, work environment, education, and skills, as well as career opportunities and compensation.
Patient care technicians work directly with patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
They should ensure that patients basic needs are met.
This includes feeding them, bathing, helping them use the restroom, and monitoring the vital signs and health of a patient.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Patient Care Technician Do?
Patient care technicians work in hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities together with doctors and nurses.
They should ensure that the basic needs of every patient are met.
The day-to-day tasks include bathing or feeding patients as well as keeping an eye on their vital health signs.
The work of a patient technician can involve both day and night shifts as patients need 24/7 care and monitoring.
Patient care technicians should have a high school diploma, take training classes, and gain some work experience.
After their study, when patient care technicians begin to work, they can make around $30,239 per year.
Responsibilities of a Patient Care Technician
- Monitor conditions and overall health of patients to ensure their well-being.
- Help patients bathe, eat, change, and use the restroom.
- Record patients’ condition, including their mood, appetite, whether they are in pain, etc., and keep documentation of it.
- Assist with the treatment of current health conditions to ensure a patient’s good health.
- Change bandages and clean the injured or affected areas.
- Collect fluid samples such as blood and urine for analysis.
- Keep the rooms in the facility clean and restocked with necessary supplies according to the standards.
- Talk to doctors and nurses about care methods for a patient to make sure they stay healthy.
Patient care technicians communicate with patients and their families daily.
It is essential for them to have good listening skills, positive attitude, and patience.
Patient care technicians may have to take care of several patients at a time.
To be able to perform your duties successfully, it is essential that you can prioritize your tasks and finish them within a given time frame.
Patient care technicians should be able to keep precise record and update charts on patients on a regular basis so doctors and nurses get the updated information and can give good care.
A patient care technician should have good physical strength since they need to help patients with sitting, standing, moving around a lot.
How to Become a Patient Care Technician
Students who wish to become a patient care technician need to have a high school diploma and complete short courses at a community college or vocational school.
At these courses, they will learn fundamental skills including basics of phlebotomy and performing diagnostic tests.
Upon completion of classroom education, students work to gain real on-the-job experience caring for actual patients.
Education and Qualifications
Patient care technicians should complete courses at community college or vocational school where they will learn the necessary skills.
The length of the course depends on the coursework and how fast it moves.
At some schools, the programs are shorter and can last five months to help students start the job sooner.
Other programs can last up to two years.
In these courses, students will learn various skills:
- How to take blood from patients.
- How to monitor patient’s conditions and determine any signs of an issue.
- First-aid and basic CPR.
- How to carry out the initial medical exam.
- How to interact with patients and their families.
- How to keep medical records.
- How to take care of patients with existing conditions such as diabetes.
- How to carry out electrocardiograms and other tests for diagnostics.
Patient care technicians receive a good knowledge base and can continue their studies to become nursing or medical assistants.
Some training or education is essential to get the job of a patient care technician.
As a part of a training program, students can gain some work experience in a medical facility, clinic, or nursing home.
Having some work experience, students will know what to expect as they start working as a patient care technician.
Patient care technicians usually work in medical care centers, nursing homes, hospitals.
There, patients need 24/7 care and monitoring.
This means that the shift can vary and fall for nights, holidays, or weekends.
Depending on the number of employees and the size of the facility, patient care technicians may be required to work overtime to ensure proper care their patients need.
Career Outlook and Opportunities
In the near future, the positions of patient care technicians, as well as other positions in the nursing industry, are expected to be highly demanded.
This is due to the aging Baby Boomer generation.
Patient care technicians are most widely employed by nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
With the aging population, there are higher risks of developing such conditions as diabetes or dementia.
If an elderly person is diagnosed with one of those conditions, they may need part-time or constant care.
By continuing to study and becoming a medical or nursing assistant, a patient care technician can count on a higher salary.
Patient care technicians are in demand everywhere across the country, and the demand is expected to grow over the next few years.
With basic education and some additional training, students can become patient care technicians easily.