6 FAQs about a Patient Care Technician Career

Learn answers about this valuable healthcare career!

Do you wish to have a career of value and importance? Why not consider becoming a patient care technician? These professionals offer direct care to patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities, the elderly, and those in hospice care.

Caring for those in need is a noble profession. It gives you the opportunity to know your patients and give them the support they need throughout the day. If you’re considering a profession where you can help others, this may be a great career choice.

If you’re thinking about entering patient care technician school, first there are some facts you need to know about this career path. Understanding the career can help you make the right decision for your future.

Below Salter Nursing features the answers to six frequently asked questions about the patient care technician career field.

Q #1: What does a patient care technician do each day?

A: Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) are the healthcare professionals who give direct assistance to patients who cannot perform daily tasks. They help to serve meals, bathe, and change their patients among other necessities. PCTs are valuable because, without them, the basic needs of patients would suffer. They may also provide emotional support for their patients when needed. Throughout the day, they work under the direction of a nurse practitioner or doctor to follow specific healthcare plana for several different patients. They monitor, listen to, and record patient statuses. They will also measure vital signs like temperature and blood pressure. Patient care technicians may need to transport, turn, or redirect patients if necessary. There may also be times when they need to restock supplies, clean and sterilize medical equipment, or change bed linens or patient gowns.

Q #2: Where do PCTs work?

A: Patient care technicians may work in a variety of healthcare settings. These include skilled nursing care facilities, hospitals, retirement communities, assisted living facilities for the elderly, home health services, and government facilities. They will perform most of their tasks in the private rooms of patients, dining halls, communal and recreational spaces, and exam rooms within these work environments. If patient care technicians work within the home health care industry, they will perform their tasks in the private homes of patients.

Q #3: What is a typical schedule like for PCTs?

A: Many patient care technicians work full-time. Hospitals and nursing homes are open every hour of the week, so they may be required to work night shifts, weekends, and even on holidays. Throughout the day, they will be on their feet caring for several different patients. Since you may need to provide both physical and emotional care, It can be a very active career path where you can build strong bonds with your patients.

Q #4: What is the projected job outlook like for PCTs?

A: The growth rate for patient care technician career is positive. With the advent of an aging baby boomer populations, more nursing assistants will be needed as the elderly age and become more susceptible to illnesses and needs basic care. The Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates that between 2014 to 2024, the projected growth rate, listed under nursing assistants and orderlies, is expected to increase to 11 percent, which is much faster than the average growth rate for other jobs. It may be a convenient and beneficial time to enroll in a patient care technician training program.

Q #5: What can I expect to earn as patient care technician?

A: Like most careers, the annual salary or hourly wages for PCTs can vary by geographic location, experience, and the specific healthcare facility where you work. However, underneath the Pay section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a median annual wage is listed for nursing assistants and orderlies. This median annual age represents the halfway point between nursing assistants who earned more than the average and the other half who earned less. If you’d like a more accurate idea of how much you would make as an entry-level patient care technician in your area, then check your local job listings. You can find job postings on sites like Monster, LinkedIn, or Indeed.

Q #6: What do people like about a patient care technician career?

A: Many people who become professional patient care technicians enjoy the opportunity to give direct care to patients who need it. This healthcare profession is also a social job so you can build strong relationships with patients who you might see every day. You may also enjoy a fast-paced environment if you work in a hospital. This career path can also give you the satisfaction of working as a vital member of a healthcare team.

What do you think? Does a career as a patient care technician sound promising to you? If you think you’d like this career path, you can learn more about Salter Nursing’s Patient Care Technician training program today! You can schedule a visit of our campus in Manchester, NH or contact us to discover what other services we have to offer.  We hope you consider becoming a crucial member of the healthcare industry!

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