People tend to feel nervous and anxious when visiting a doctor, especially in an emergency situation, and that is the moment when patient care technicians come into play.
They are the first to meet the patient when he/she enters a facility and they are supposed to provide them with excellent care.
So as to help patients feel comfortable in the medical facility, patient care technicians have to know some techniques and skills.
Plus, they need to be equipped with the knowledge that certified nursing assistants possess, as they may b asked to perform those tasks as well.
Another reason why you should go through patient care technician training is to provide you with the skills related to additional specialized duties such as EKGs and blood collection.
The daily duties of patient care technicians are to confirm a patient’s identity, take blood pressure, check heart rate, and record pulse.
Those patient care tech that works under a supervision of a doctor or nurse can be asked to perform a physical exam, monitor a patient’s food intake while he/she is in the hospital, and help patients with personal care.
All in all, patient care technicians both work to improve a patient’s condition and to support and help doctors and nurses.
Patient Care Technician Programs
If it is your wish and decision to be a patient care technician, we suggest that you choose from several degree options offered.
The easiest way is to earn a diploma and it takes nine months of full-time study to be reached.
Another way is to attend an Associate’s degree program, which requires two-years time to be completed and it is not as frequently attended as diploma options.
Patient care technician programs are focused on four main areas.
The first one is basic patient care skills, which are very similar to what Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) do.
If you possess a current CNA license, you will be one step up.
What you will also be taught is how to work as an EKG technician.
The third skill you need to possess is related to phlebotomy.
Patient care technicians must know how to draw blood and store it safely.
By the end of the program, you will also learn certain advanced nursing assistant skills.
Our suggestion is to take core courses like Health Care and Body Systems, Nursing Assistant Skills, and Phlebotomy at the very start of your patient care technician program.
Then, you get the option of finishing two different internships in your program.
One of these internships will improve your CNA skills, while the other one will expand your patient care skills.
You should also focus on courses that offer hands-on skills, such as CPR, EKG Technology, and Advanced Nurse Assisting Skills.
Certification and Job Outlook for Patient Care Technicians
In the USA there is no state regulation that patient care technicians have to become licensed or certified to be allowed to work.
The main reason why certification is suggested is that finding a PCT job without certification can be troublesome.
This is due to the fact that employers are those who ask for a certification as proof of your skills and professional experience.
The National Health Career Association offers a Certified Patient Care Technician program.
The moment you get your diploma, you are eligible to take and pass the CPCT exam which will test your knowledge on basic patient care, patient care supplies, making beds, performing safety checks, EKG readings, and phlebotomy procedures.
If you successfully pass the CPCT exam, you become a Certified Patient Care Technician and you can start your job search.
Keep in mind that you must renew your certification every two years by completing 10 continuing education credits.
When it comes to job opportunities and outlook, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, patient care technicians belong o the category of nursing assistants, and the demand for this medical staff is constantly on the rise.
In case you become certified, you will have numerous employment options.
What is even better, you will be able to get higher salaries than the average salary for a nursing assistant, which is $25,710 per year.
The more experienced and educated you are, the better job prospect and salaries you can get.
When your work settings are in question, as a patient care technician, you can work in hospitals or nursing homes and you should expect to work evenings, nights, and weekends as well.
If you happen to find employment in a clinic, you will be providing daycare to patients.