This article will give a clear overview of what the patient care technician job description entails, including the day -to-day responsibilities and duties, required training and education, typical work hours and work environment, and the future job outlook for patient care technicians.
Patient care technicians work closely with patients in hospitals and nursing homes to ensure that their basic care and medical needs are met, including but not limited to tasks such as feeding, bathing, changing, and helping patients use the restroom, as well as monitoring the patient’s vital signs and health.
Job Overview: What Does a Patient Care Technician Do?
Patient care technicians work together with doctors and nursing staff in a hospital, nursing home, or long term care facility to ensure that the basic needs of each patient are met. Daily tasks might include things like feeding and cleaning the patient, or monitoring their vital signs and health.
Working in these type of facilities may involve working varied shifts, as patients require round the clock care and monitoring. The patient care technician job description requires students to hold a high school diploma, complete a training class, and get some on the job experience.
Once they have completed studies and begun working, patient care technicians can expect to make around $30,239 annually.
Patient Care Technician Job Duties
- Monitor vital signs and conditions of patients to ensure they are healthy.
- Assist patients with bathing, eating, changing, and going to the restroom.
- Complete documentation about patient condition, including their vital signs, mood, appetite, and any pain they are experiencing.
- Assist with management of existing health conditions to ensure the patient stays healthy.
- Change patient bandages and clean affected areas.
- Collect bodily fluid samples for analysis, such as blood and urine.
- Keep patient rooms up to hospital or care facility standards, which may include changing bedding and re-stocking depleted supplies.
- Consult with nurses and doctors about patient care to ensure the patient stays healthy.
Patient Care Technician Job Essential Skills
Personal Skills. Patient care technicians interact with patients and their families daily. Having good listening skills, patience, and a positive attitude is necessary during these interactions.
Time Management Skills. Patient care technicians may have to care for and monitor the health of several patients at once. Understanding how to prioritize your tasks and complete them all within a set time frame is vital to being successful in this field.
Organizational Skills. The technicians must keep accurate records and update patient charts regularly to ensure the doctors and nursing staff have updated information and can provide quality care.
Physical Skills. As a patient care technician, you may have to help patients with standing, sitting, and moving around, so physical strength is a definite advantage.
Becoming a Patient Care Technician
To become a patient care technician, students need to complete high school and a short specialized training class at a community college or vocational school. During this training, students will learn essential skills, such as basic phlebotomy and how to perform diagnostic tests.
Once the classroom part of the education is complete, students work on the job to gain real world experience dealing with actual patients.
Qualifications and Training
Patient care technicians can expect to complete a course at a community college or vocational school to learn the required skills. The length of this course can vary, depending on how fast the coursework moves.
Some schools offer a shorter program to help students get into the workforce quicker, which can last as little as five months. Other paths of study can take up to two years. During this time, students will learn a variety of skills, including:
- How to draw blood from a patient.
- How to monitor a patient’s vital signs and identify any signs of an issue.
- Basic CPR and first aid practices.
- How to perform an initial medical exam on a patient.
- How to communicate with patients and their families.
- Basic medical record keeping.
- How to care for a patient with a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes or dementia.
- How to perform electrocardiograms and other diagnostic tests.
Patient care technicians learn a good foundation of medical concepts, and can continue studying to become a nursing assistant or medical assistant.
It is not possible to get work as a patient care technician without some form of training or education. As part of the patient care technician training program, students will likely complete some on the job experience in a medical facility, nursing home, or clinical setting.
This work experience helps students understand what to expect when they start working in a patient care technician position.
Many patient care technicians work in nursing homes, medical care centers, or hospitals, where patients need round the clock monitoring and care. This can mean working varied shifts, including weekends, midnight shifts, and holidays.
Depending on the size of the facility and the amount of staff on site, patient care technicians may have to work extra hours to ensure patients get the care they need.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
In the coming years, as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, patient care technicians and other positions in the nursing industry will continue to be in high demand. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are some of the top employers of patient care technicians.
As the population continues to age, the risk of developing diabetes, dementia and other conditions grows higher and higher. Once afflicted with one of these conditions, an elderly person may require part time or round the clock care from a patient care technician. By continuing to study and becoming a nursing assistant, a patient care technician can increase their earning potential.
Patient care technicians are needed across the country to perform the rewarding work of caring for sick and elderly people, and will continue to be needed in the upcoming years. With some education and training, a student can easily become a patient care technician. We hope our patient care technician job description has informed you of the main aspects of this career.