What is a Patient Care Technician?

If you’re thinking about a career in the medical field, you may have come across the term “patient care technician” and wondered what exactly it is. A patient care technician is a medical professional who provides basic care and support to patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

If you’re interested in becoming a patient care technician, read on to learn more about the job, including duties, education requirements, and salary prospects

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Job Description

A Patient Care Technician (PCT) works under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Their primary responsibilities are to provide direct patient care and to perform certain medical tasks. PCTs might also take vital signs, collect specimen samples, and provide wound care. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, becoming a PCT is a great place to start.

Duties of a Patient Care Technician

A patient care technician (PCT) is a certified or registered health care professional who works under the supervision of a licensed nurse to provide direct patient care. PCTs are sometimes also referred to as nurse’s aides, orderlies, or patient care assistants.

The duties of a PCT vary depending on the specific position and place of employment, but generally include tasks such as taking patients’ vital signs, providing personal care (bathing, grooming, etc.), and helping with activities of daily living such as eating and ambulation. PCTs may also be responsible for wound care, collecting specimens for laboratory testing, and performing electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Education and Training

Education and training requirements for Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) vary by state but most programs take about a year to complete. Some states require certification while others do not, but most employers prefer to hire PCTs who are certified. PCTs must complete a formal education program and pass a state-approved exam to earn certification.

Patient Care Technician Programs

Patient care technicians (PCTs) are vital members of the healthcare team who provide direct care to patients. PCT programs prepare students to work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. PCTs may also be involved in community outreach programs and health fairs.

PCT programs typically last one to two years and lead to a certificate or associate degree. Programs vary in terms of admissions requirements, but most will require students to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require that students complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, mathematics, and English.

PCT programs typically include coursework in medical terminology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and patient rights. Students will also receive training in how to provide basic patient care, such as taking vital signs and dressing wounds. Clinical experiences are an important part of the PCT program, as they provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.

Patient Care Technician Certification

Pursuing certification as a patient care technician (PCT) is a great way to show your commitment to the profession and improve your job prospects. To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited training program and met all other requirements set by the certifying organization. The most common credential for PCTs is the Certified Healthcare Technician (CHT) designation offered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA).

After you have been working as a PCT for a few years, you may decide to pursue advanced certification in order to take on more responsibility or specialize in a particular area of patient care. The NHA also offers the Certified Advanced Healthcare Technician (CAHt) credential for PCTs who have additional experience and training. To earn this credential, you must have at least two years of full-time work experience as a PCT and complete an advanced training program approved by the NHA.

Job outlook

If you’re thinking about a career as a Patient Care Technician (PCT), you probably want to know what kinds of jobs will be available to you after you complete your training. The good news is that the job outlook for PCTs is very positive. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of PCTs will grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2018 and 2028.

Patient Care Technician Salary

The average salary for a patient care technician is $13.50 per hour. The top 10 percent of earners make $17.58 per hour, while the bottom 10 percent earn $9.72 per hour.

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