A Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a significant part of the health care sector.
They perform-on-hand patient care in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Though the details seem similar to the role of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), they are definitely different. A PCT is certified and trained to operate an electrocardiogram machine, in addition to being a phlebotomist.
Patient Care Technicians support nurses, doctors and other medical staff in providing care for patients with physical and psychological disorders in a broad range of healthcare settings.
PCT’s are found at hospitals, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities (also know as nursing homes), assisted living communities, and more.
Patient Care Technicians have to be understanding of a client’s condition. Your job is to assist patients who have just had a surgery or who are in their weakest and sickest state.
A positive attitude along with caring support are the traits of the best PCTs. They provide assurance to their patients, and calm them down.
A Patient Care Technician is supervised by a healthcare professional, such as a registered nurse, physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, the main duties are patient care under the care and supervision of this medical professional.
What does a Patient Care Technician do?
The PCT’s role includes providing quality patient care that includes emotional support and guidance. They also obtain specimens, conduct tests and record results. Checking blood pressure, heart rate and pulse on a regular basis is also another important responsibility.
They also monitor patient condition and provide updates to the care team is an important responsibility of the nursing staff. PCT’s must also monitor patients’ food and liquid intake to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need and remain hydrated. Finally, they often escort patients to X-ray and other diagnostic imaging processes.
They are not to be confused with the job description of a home health aide (HHA).
How to Become a Patient Care Technician
To become a Patient Career Tech, an individual must complete an approved training course, pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX exam as part of the Nursing Assisting section of the program), and obtain certification from the state in which they live or work before the National Healthcare Association.
Upon completion of the exam, a certified individual has an advantage over a noncertified candidate during a job interview.
Outlook for a PCT
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average annual salary for Patient Care Technicians as of May 2016 was $26,590.
A Patient Care Technician’s job opportunities are increasing. According to a research study of the health care industry, the employment in this sector is expected to increase by 17 percent by 2024.