Over the course of a day, this healthcare professional may perform a wide range of duties
A patient care technician is a healthcare professional who provides basic care to patients. PCTs assist doctors as well as nurses as part of the healthcare team. If you’re interested in a hands-on role in healthcare, this could be a good job option for you. PCTs can work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, home health care settings, and acute care facilities.
Here is an overview of this important role:
Basic patient care technician duties
- provide basic care to patients, working together with other members of the medical team to meet patients’ needs.
- assist patients in eating, dressing, bathing, and grooming.
- record any information about a patient’s condition into the medical records.
- listen to patients’ concerns, and communicate those concerns to other members of the medical team.
- report to nurses or doctors any changes in a patient’s condition that may affect their current medical condition or their recovery.
Typical roles a PCT can play
Even though each day as a PCT can be different, there are several roles that are common. These include:
- helping nurses to orient a new patient.
- walking with patients to help them exercise.
- helping a patient to bathe and/or dress himself (which can include applying support stockings).
- helping nurses to turn or reposition a patient in bed.
- delivering meals to patients and collecting trays from patients after a meal.
- assisting a patient in eating.
- transporting patients to other parts of the medical facility or for treatment sessions, including to physical therapy or the x-ray department.
- changing bed linens when a patient is not in the room, or preparing the room for a new patient.
In addition to performing some routine office procedures, PCTs often use medical and diagnostic equipment. Some of their more technical roles can include:
- performing an EKG.
- measuring a patient’s body fluids—how much he or she is drinking as well as eliminating.
- taking a patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure and body temperature.
- responding to a doctor’s orders to collect blood.
What makes a good PCT
The most essential aspect of this work is caring about people and wanting to help them. Other skills you will use frequently are:
- critical thinking
- an understanding medical terminology
- an understanding of human anatomy
- knowledge of safety practices and procedures.
If you think you might have the right skillset and inclination for this position, reach out to the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health for more information about our training program. It could lead you to the satisfying career in healthcare you’ve been looking for!
This article is part of the Salter School of Nursing’s weekly blog. We are dedicated to the well-being of all our potential and current students. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a tour!