Learn the basics about this patient-focused healthcare profession
If you’re interested in becoming a Patient Care Technician, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about the profession, career outlook, and the training involved. This post answers some of the most frequently asked questions we get from prospective students, to help you make an informed decision based on the day-to-day work of a Patient Care Technician.
What qualities make a good Patient Care Technician?
Are you a person who likes to take care of others? The best Patient Care Technicians are natural caregivers with a high level of patience and compassion for people with physical needs and vulnerabilities. Being a kind person who is attentive to others is important in this role, where you will be required to offer help and hands-on assistance to patients throughout your day.
Where does a Patient Care Technician work?
A Patient Care Technician works alongside doctors and nurses in a range of different environments including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term residential care facilities, hospices, Veterans Affairs hospitals, and private homes.
What typical daily tasks are involved?
Patient Care Technicians have a wide range of responsibilities around all aspects of patient care. You’ll likely be on your feet most of the day, so being physically fit is important. Daily tasks range from assisting patients with basic needs, such as moving from a bed to a chair, taking a patient’s vital signs, collecting a blood specimen, administering an electrocardiogram (EKG), and helping to ensure that patients are comfortable and at ease. Listening well to your patients is key, as well as working with nursing staff to help meet the goals of the healthcare team.
How many hours does a Patient Care Technician work?
When you love what you do, the work can feel less like work and more like a vocation—a true calling. The hours and scheduling will depend on where you end up taking a job. Most Patient Care Technicians are full-time employees, and oftentimes they are employed by hospitals where they work 12-hour shifts.
What is the difference between a Patient Care Technician and a Nursing Assistant?
Both careers involve direct contact with patients and require focusing primarily on the needs of patients. Both careers also follow the same nursing assistant curriculum, and then the Patient Care Technician will go on to learn more specific training in areas such as EKG, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic first aid, and phlebotomy. The additional training involved in a Patient Care Technician can help you qualify for a range of rewarding job positions upon graduation.
What is holding you back? If helping patients is your calling, then becoming a Patient Care Technician could be the first step toward a meaningful new career. At the Harris Casel Institute, we’re here to help you decide if becoming a Patient Care Technician would be a good fit for you.
This article is part of the weekly blog of the Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, FL. We are invested in helping all our students reach their personal and professional goals. Reach out to us for more information about our career training programs.