What is a Patient Care Technician (PCT)?

PCTs provide basic care to patients who need assistance  

Would you describe yourself as caring and compassionate? If you would, then you have two of the important traits of a Patient Care Technician. If you are looking for a new job field where you can get trained quickly, becoming a PCT may be a good option for you. PCTs play a valuable role in the healthcare system and can work in a variety of healthcare facilities.

What does a Patient Care Technician do?

These professionals are responsible for providing basic care to patients who need help with their daily living. Most PCTs work in nursing homes or long-term care facilities where they assist patients on a day-to-day basis. Some of their tasks may include:

  • Assist patients and nursing home residents with personal hygiene
  • Help a patient get dressed for the day
  • Push a patient in his or her wheelchair to get to an activity or appointment
  • Monitor vital signs and record any necessary information
  • Talk with patients and residents about anything and everything
  • Provide emotional support for patients and family members dealing with health issues
  • Keep patient records up to date
  • Keep supplies stocked
  • Administer EKGs when and if needed
  • Provide assistance to the head nurse

Patient Care Technicians are similar to nursing assistants, but have been trained in many additional skills that a nursing assistant cannot do. If you think you are ready to take on this kind of important responsibility, then read more to find out some of the benefits of this career path.

Is Patient Care Technician a Good Career?

If you are interested in the field of nursing, but not ready to undergo the full training requirements to become a nurse, then becoming a PCT can be a good alternative. Here are some of the reasons that people like this field.

  • You can get trained in less than one year

Most PCT programs can be completed in less than one year. The program at the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health is 603 hours. Depending on the state where you live and the program you attend, the PCT course could be longer or shorter than this.

  • You get a chance to know your patients

Working in a nursing home or skilled care facility allows you to get to know the patients and residents over a long period of time. This is in contrast to a hospital job where most patients only stay for a few days’ time. Developing lasting bonds with your patients is part of the job that many PCTs enjoy.

  • You are part of a respected field

The field of nursing is a respectable field, whether you are a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, practical nurse, or nursing assistant. PCTs are part of this important field, and should feel proud of the work they do.

  • Your skills are portable

The clinical skills you will gain in any nursing assistant program or PCT program are going to be skills that are portable anywhere in your state. If your life plans change and you need to move to another area, you will still have marketable skills.

  • You can decide to get more nursing training in the future

If you start out as a PCT and find that you love your work and want to take on more challenges and responsibilities, you can decide to go back to nursing school to earn a higher degree. Your PCT experiences will give you a great place to start.

If these benefits sound good to you, it may be worth exploring this career path. Take some time today to make steps toward your future career!


The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, NH offers a Patient Care Technician training program for students interested in pursuing this career field. To enroll, contact us online.

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