Training and caregiving that goes a step beyond
At the Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, FL, we offer programs that challenge and prepare our students for satisfying careers. Our Patient Care Technician program is one way to delve into the field of nursing. This work involves being active in many areas of patient care, often with more direct patient contact than many other medical professionals.
Almost like an advanced nursing assistant, a patient care technician works alongside doctors, nurses, and other professionals to provide the best possible care. Patient care technicians help patients with their basic care needs, and coordinate with the head nurse to handle a variety of responsibilities.
You might not realize all of the tasks that a patient care technician performs in a healthcare facility. In addition to providing basic patient care, PCT tasks can include:
- drawing blood
- performing EKGs
- taking vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, etc.)
- assisting physicians during exams.
Patient care technicians also play several other important roles, including:
- caring for patients with catheters, feeding tubes, and other special needs
- helping patients with getting dressed and personal hygiene
- assisting patients in walking for exercise
- helping patients with meals.
This role can also assist in ways that reassure the patients’ family members, such as by:
- ensuring that patients receive their medications (and understand how to take them)
- monitoring how much food their patients are eating
- providing emotional support.
Where PCTs work
PCTs typically work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities where the residents need help with everyday living tasks. They may also work in hospice organizations, hospitals, and private homes.
What training entails
In addition to learning the skills and responsibilities of a nursing assistant, students in the PCT program also gain medical knowledge and clinical skills that higher-level positions will require. Both our Nursing Assistant and Patient Care Technician programs require:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infectious diseases and blood borne pathogens (including HIV/AIDs)
- Care for cognitively impaired persons
- Restorative care
However, our Patient Care Technician program expands the traditional role of the nursing assistant with a broader foundation of knowledge and skills. Students in this program spend additional time preparing for higher-level healthcare, such as:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Recognizing heart arrhythmias and dysrhythmias
- Phlebotomy and venipuncture (drawing blood)
- Collecting lab specimens
- Caring for patients in a home setting (home health care)
- Infection control
- Emergency situations
- Monitoring vital signs
- Principles of nutrition
- Healthcare ethics
Does this range of skills and training sound appealing? If so, read more about this career in 5 Traits of a Great Patient Care Technician. Who knows? You may decide that our Patient Care Technician program is the right program for you.
Whether you’re considering a new career or perhaps just a change in direction from your current healthcare career, the Harris Casel Institute can help you. Contact us online, if you’re located near Melbourne, FL, and we can get you started. You can enroll at any time of the year. The only experience you need is your high school diploma (or equivalent) and a willingness to study, learn, and work hard.