Use all the tools available to support you in pursuing your professional goals
If you’re studying to become a patient care technician, then you know that there’s a tremendous amount of information to absorb and retain. There are dozens of technical terms, practices, and procedures, as well as rules to become acquainted with. The goal is to have the information you need available, so you can be responsive to patients—and to your fellow healthcare providers—quickly and efficiently. Communication is essential to success in this field, and there are a number of ways you can support yourself in improving those skills.
Don’t be intimidated by all there is to learn. Instead, access some resources that have been created to support you in learning and your professional training. Whether you’re in school now, or are already working as a PCT, the following suggestions can help you to do the best you can.
Get support through a professional association
A smart move early in your training to become a PCT is to join a professional association like the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants. This is an excellent way to stay connected to others in the field, find out about opportunities for professional development, read the latest articles being published, and learn about other groups in your area. Given how rapidly the field of healthcare is changing, it is useful to keep expanding the circle of professionals you know. It can also help you to stay up to date on the best nursing practices in the field.
In addition to this national network, there are a number of websites and apps that you may find useful. Here are a few to check out:
If word plays are your thing
Memorizing long lists of medical terms is required when you’re in a training program for the healthcare field. This is where an app called Med Mnemonics (available for iOS and Android) can come in handy. In addition to providing definitions, it offers mnemonic devices (tricks to help you remember the name of something), which can be a big help with long words and complex, hard-to-remember terminology. Since this app makes remembering more like a game, and less like work, you might find yourself spending more time studying. It’s also a great resource if you need to double-check yourself before speaking with a patient or a colleague.
If you find online quizzes helpful
Quizlet.com is a website as well as a free app that is a great study aid. Its flashcards can help you to prepare for PCT exams because they provide a solid overview of many common procedures as well as medical terminology. You can track your progress, so as you get stronger and remember more PCT terms, the better you’ll do and the more confident you’ll feel. This practice with memory recall will serve you well in your work as a PCT, so that you’ll have the knowledge you need at your fingertips when you’re caring for a patient.
For getting—and staying—organized
PCTs and other nursing professionals are likely to find that the number of details in a typical workday are a lot to juggle. It’s a good idea to use an online resource like the Nurses Aid app (for Android and GooglePlay). It can help you avoid all kinds of errors by keeping things organized in lists and sending you reminders about important events and tasks. You can keep track of all doctor’s orders in one place, carry them with you, and access them with the touch of a button. As you go through a hectic day, it can be useful to see visually which tasks you’ve already completed, and which you still have ahead of you.
We hope you’ll take advantage of these resources as you stretch yourself to learn all it takes to be a good patient care technician. They can be a great study aid when you’re in school, and also come in handy in your professional life. Use everything that’s available to you as you make this commitment to the healthcare field. We wish you the best of luck!
This article is part of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health’s weekly blog. We offer a patient care technician training program as well as two other nursing programs. Reach out to us today for more information.