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Patient Care Technician as a Career

A Patient Care Technician (PCT), also called a Patient Care Assistant or an Emergency Room Technician, aids patients and their doctors in hospitals, emergency rooms, physician offices, and long-term facilities like nursing homes. Their jobs are similar to Nursing Assistants because they help care for patients’ basic needs. But in addition, they can also perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), take blood samples (phlebotomy), and perform electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), PCTs are responsible for monitoring the needs of their patients and reporting any changes in behavior, eating, or well-being to the healthcare team.

Where Do Patient Care Technicians Work?

Patient Care Technicians have the opportunity to work with many different patients in a variety of settings. As a Patient Care Technician, some places you could work include:

  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Assisted living centers
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Doctors’ offices

Professional Environment

Nursing Homes are the most common place of employment for Patient Care Technicians. Under the supervision of a nurse, PCTs assist with the daily needs of their patients. The work can be physically demanding, because you may need to lift or transport patients to different areas. In nursing homes, PCTs have the opportunity to get to know their patients well, since the patients stay for long periods of time.

Hospitals are another large employer of Patient Care Technicians. In this environment, PCTs are given more administrative work and medical responsibilities. You could work on several different hospital floors or in one particular department, such as the emergency department. Some PCTs prefer working in hospitals because they have more nursing duties, which helps to advance their clinical skills.  

Most Patient Care Technicians work full-time and may be required to work night shifts.