Do you want to work in healthcare but can’t imagine yourself as a doctor or nurse? There’s a role that doesn’t get enough attention: hands-on patient care. It’s crucial to patients’ well-being and the efficient delivery of high-quality medical care. You’ll have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of extended-stay patients.
What Does It Mean To Be A Patient Care Technician?
Technicians that work with patients are part of a wider care team. They provide direct assistance to patients while they receive medical treatment and execute clinical chores. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care centers, nursing homes, and home healthcare.
Also known as patient techs, PCT nurses, or PCT medicals, these healthcare professionals streamline medical care and improve a patient’s comfort.
What Does A Patient Care Technician Do?
PCTs work under the supervision of doctors or nurses to:
- Monitor patient condition, take note of patient concerns, and notify the rest of the care team
- Serve meals, feed patients when needed, and monitor food/fluid intake
- Change bedding, dress or bathe patients, prevent bedsores, and assist with restroom needs
- Help patients walk, get into wheelchairs, and perform range-of-motion exercises
- Check blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse regularly
- Obtain specimens like blood or urine, conduct tests, and escort patients to diagnostic imaging
- Oversee patient medications and administer IVs
- Provide emotional support to patients and loved ones
- Some provide specialized care like catheterization or dialysis
Keep in mind that which jobs and responsibilities you’ll perform are determined by your jurisdiction, employer policies, and level of experience.
These services are crucial in the treatment of patients. Patient techs increase the quality of a patient’s experience by taking on these responsibilities, freeing up time for other medical staff to focus on other activities.
What Other Skills Do PCTs Require?
To give certain treatment, patient techs obviously require specific medical abilities and knowledge.
However, the “soft talents” they bring to the workplace may be even more crucial.
The function of a patient tech necessitates great communication and interpersonal skills in order to properly deal with patients, loved ones, and other healthcare staff.
Compassion and patience are also essential qualities. A lot of PCT job is repetitious, but you’ll also spend a lot of time with people who are suffering, frustrated, or afraid. They won’t be at their best, and it’s part of your responsibility to keep your emotions in check and provide comfort.
What Sets a Patient Care Technician Apart from Other Jobs?
There is a lot of overlap between the various members of a patient care team. The changes can be slight and vary depending on the size or type of medical facility as well as how it is run.
Nursing Assistants vs. Patient Care Technicians
PCT nurses and nursing assistants have comparable responsibilities. The key distinction is the level of care provided.
Many fundamental patient care activities, such as feeding, bathing, repositioning, and transferring patients, are shared between them. They’ve also been taught to keep track of and record vital indicators.
Patient techs, on the other hand, are trained in more complex tasks such as taking blood, administering EKGs, delivering prescriptions, collecting specimens for testing, assisting with therapeutic exercise, wound care, and inserting and removing implants.
What Does It Take to Become a PCT?
In most cases, it takes roughly a year to become a patient tech. To become certified, you must complete a post-secondary education programme and pass an exam.
Requirements for a Patient Care Technician
State-by-state requirements for obtaining a PCT differ. PCTs must be licensed or qualified in some states. To find out what is required in your area, check with your state or local authorities.
In most circumstances, a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED, is required. To learn the knowledge and abilities you’ll need for your work, you’ll also need to finish a training programme. PCT education programme often prepare you to pass an independent third-party certification exam.