What Does a Patient Care Technician Do?

If you like working closely with patients, this career may be a match for you

Caring for elderly patients or patients with disabilities is very important work. Nursing home residents have everyday basic needs that a nurse or doctor does not have time to handle. So who is there to help? Patient Care Technicians are the medical professionals who fill this important role. They are right there for their patients, assisting them with their basic needs and helping to keep them comfortable.

To learn more about this career field, find out what a Patient Care Technician does on the job. Here are some of the everyday tasks that you would do if you chose this career:

  • Help patients with getting dressed and personal hygiene
  • Help nursing home residents take a walk or move from bed to chair
  • Perform safety checks
  • Check the cleanliness of residents’ rooms
  • Monitor vital signs
  • Administer EKGs
  • Provide emotional support to patients during end of life care
  • Record patient records
  • Assist the head nurse as needed

Unlike some medical professions where you may only see your patients for a short period of time, Patient Care Technicians tend to spend more time with their patients. Patients in nursing homes are typically living there for weeks, months, and even years, which gives you a chance to get to know your patients over a long period of time.

Patient Care Technicians vs. Licensed Nursing Assistants
Patient Care Technicians play a role similar to that of nursing assistants. However, they receive more training and are qualified to perform more procedures than nursing assistants. Unlike nursing assistants, PCTs are qualified for such clinical responsibilities as administering EKGs and drawing blood samples. With this additional training, you are showing potential employers that you are dedicated to your job training and to your career.

Where do Patient Care Technicians work?
Most of the jobs for PCTs are in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, rehab center, hospice organizations, or other medical facilities.

As a PCT, there may be different job titles for which could be qualified. Depending on the employer, you may be called a Patient Care Technician, Patient Care Assistant, Nursing Assistant, Nurses Aide, Patient Care Associate, Nurse Technician, Health Care Assistant, or a Clinical Support Associate. When you are looking for jobs, you will want to search for all of these terms.

Getting training
Most PCT training programs take less than one year to complete. If you keep up with your studies, attend all your classes, pass your exams, and complete your internship successfully, you may be able to complete your training in an even shorter period. Most training programs are hands-on and give you an internship experience where you get to work directly with patients. With this kind of training, you will feel confident and prepared for the job market.

If you are considering this career field, why not explore it further? There may be a training school near you!


The Salter School of Nursing in Manchester, NH is proud to provide a Patient Care Technician training program. For more information on how to enroll, contact us online.

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