Find out why PCTs are an important part of the field of healthcare
In the field of healthcare, there are many different careers to pursue. Some of them involve many years of schooling and training, such as physicians and nurses. Other career paths, like many allied health professions, require less training. In this blog post, we are shining a spotlight on the career path of a Patient Care Technician. Read more to find out if this career makes sense for you.
What does a Patient Care Technician do?
Patient care technicians are responsible for helping patients with their basic care needs. They typically work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities where the residents need help with everyday living tasks. In these facilities, a PCT might:
- Help a patient with personal hygiene and getting dressed
- Assist a patient in taking a short walk for exercise
- Help patients with their meals
- Coordinate with the head nurse to handle a variety of responsibilities
- Measure and record vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse)
- Administer an electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Perform blood draw procedures when needed
- Care for patients with catheters, feeding tubes, and other special needs
- Provide emotional support to patients and families
Where do PCTs work?
PCTs can work in a number of different healthcare settings, but mainly they work in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. They may also find work in hospice organizations, hospitals, and private homes.
PCTs may also have different job titles. Depending on the facility where they work, they might be called patient care assistants, nursing assistants, patient care associates, health care assistants, hospital attendants, or nurse technicians.
What is the difference between a PCT and a nursing assistant?
PCTs have similar responsibilities to nursing assistants, but they receive a higher level of training. They are trained to administer EKGs, CPR, and basic First Aid. They are also trained in phlebotomy (blood draws). This extra training qualifies them for higher level responsibilities than a nursing assistant might have.
How can I become a PCT?
Becoming a PCT is within your reach! Training to become a PCT usually takes less than one year. Most programs simply require that you have your high school diploma and a desire to learn. Your program will start by giving you a background in anatomy and medical terminology. You will get plenty of hands-on time in a clinical laboratory setting where you can learn about patient care and patient procedures. Most programs include an internship where you get real world experience working in a nearby healthcare facility. By the time you graduate, you will be trained and ready for work!
If you think this career sounds right for you, why not take some time to search for training programs near you? For residents of the Melbourne, Florida area, the Harris Casel Institute is proud to offer a Patient Care Technician training program as well as other allied health programs such as Home Health Aide and Medical Billing and Coding. Contact us online to find out more. Your future could begin with Harris Casel!