What is Patient Care Tech?

A Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a multi-skilled health professional who provides direct care to patients in a variety of settings. PCTs work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

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What is a Patient Care Technician?

A patient care technician is a health care worker who provides basic patient care services. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse. Patient care technicians typically have completed a certified nurse assistant or medical assistant program. They are often responsible for taking vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature, and performing other basic nursing tasks.

Job Description

A patient care technician (PCT) works under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). The PCT provides basic patient care, including taking vital signs, measuring blood oxygen levels, and monitoring patients for changes in their condition. PCTs also perform basic laboratory tests and provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and eating.

PCTs must have completed an accredited training program and must be certified by a nationally recognized organization, such as the National Healthcare Association or the American medical technologists Some states have additional certification requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a patient care technician can vary depending on the employer and the specific job, but there are some common tasks that are typically included in this position. These may include taking vital signs, measuring patients’ bodily fluids, collecting specimens, changing dressings, providing basic patient care, assisting with ambulation and exercises, helping patients bathe and dress, transporting patients to different areas within the facility, and providing emotional support to patients and their families.

Qualifications and Training

As a Patient Care Technician (PCT) you will provide quality patient care under the direction of a Registered Nurse. Your responsibilities will include taking patient vital signs, collecting specimens, performing EKGs, documenting patient information, and providing patient education. Although a high school diploma is the minimum requirement to become a PCT, most employers prefer to hire those who have completed a formal training program and have earned certification.


To qualify for a position as a patient care technician, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may prefer or require applicants to have completed a certified nurse assistant (CNA) or other health care training program. You can find these programs at community colleges, technical schools, and some four-year colleges. Upon completing a patient care tech program, you will likely earn a certificate or diploma. Some programs may lead to an associate degree in applied science.


Depending on the state in which you work, certification as a patient care tech may be required. Certification is typically obtained through completing an accredited training program and passing a state-recognized exam. In some cases, certification may also be required in order to maintain employment. Patient care techs who are certified often find that they have better job prospects and are able to command higher salaries.

Clinical Experience

Clinical experience is the best way to learn patient care. It gives you first-hand knowledge of what to do – and what not to do – when caring for patients. Many technical schools and community colleges offer programs that combine classroom instruction with hands-on clinical experience. You can also get clinical experience by working as a nurse’s aides or orderlies in hospitals or long-term care facilities.

Patient Care Technician Salary

There are many Patient Care Technician roles with a wide range of responsibilities. The most common job duties of a Patient Care Technician include measuring and recording vital signs, providing personal care, and helping patients with their activities of daily living. The median annual salary for a Patient Care Technician is $29,660.

National Average

As of May 2020, the average salary for a Patient Care Technician was $14.57 per hour in the united states

By State

Patient care technicians salary and wage information for selected states.

Alabama: $25,530 – $37,560

Arizona: $28,340 – $41,160

Arkansas: $24,880 – $36,560

California: $32,210 – $46,980

Colorado: $29,710 – $43,440

Job Outlook

The job outlook for Patient Care Tech is quite positive. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has predicted a 31% growth in the field between 2019 and 2029. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. The demand for Patient Care Techs is high due to an aging population and the need for more healthcare workers.

Growth Rate

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t provide information specific to PCTs, it does report on the outlook for medical assistants and home health aides. The BLS predicts that employment for medical assistants will grow by 29% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for home health aides is expected to grow by 47% during the same time period.

Top States for Job Growth

The top five states for job growth in this field are:

1. Texas
2. California
3. Florida
4. Georgia
5. North Carolina

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