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Skills for a Patient Care Technician

Jun 07, 2010

The job of a patient care technician is an important one in a health care setting.  Patient care technicians help patients in a number of settings including doctor's offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.  Because often they are able to spend a little extra time with patients helping them eat meals, get dressed, bathe, and do other daily tasks, patients are often able to establish a great relationship with the patient care technician.  The patient care technician will need to be responsible, compassionate, trustworthy, and patient.  He or she should also have a basic understanding of medical terminology, procedures, as well as day to day operations in the setting where they are employed. 

Patient Care Technician Background

Other health care workers as well as patients depend on the patient care technician, or PCT.  Many tasks that the nurse is too busy to perform will be delegated to the patient care technician.  The PCT will be able to report any new problems or difficulties that a patient might be having to their supervising nurse.  The compassionate care that PCTs provide to patients is a valuable part of the patient's rehabilitation and healing.  While training to become a PCT, the new patient care technician will learn the importance of paying close attention to detail.  For example, the patient care technician might be responsible for taking and recording a patient's vital signs or intake and output.  The results of these numbers will reflect the patient's treatment. They might not receive certain medications if their blood pressure is too low or receive other medication if they are not urinating enough.  Patient care can be impacted if close attention to detail is not given.

Patient care technicians should understand basic procedures that will occur in the places where they work.  While it is not their job to explain procedures or tests to patients or their families, it is often their responsibility to assist in preparing the patient for testing or procedures.  Understanding medical terminology will be very important to the PCT's job. 

What Skills Will My Employer Look For?

Your employer will look for you to be a motivated person when you start your job as a patient care technician.  She will look for you to take direction from your supervising nurse or physician.  To be a good patient care technician you should treat your coworkers as well as patients with dignity and respect.  Your employer will want you to be professional at all times and be willing to learn and practice new skills as a patient care technician. Even if you do not have experience working as a patient care technician, you should be willing to ask questions and try your hardest to help both fellow staff members and patients.

How Do I Know If I Have What It Takes to Be a Patient Care Technician?

Working in a medical field is not for everyone.  Patient care technicians have a very important job especially in a hospital setting.  They are often the people who have the most contact with patients and can recognize a problem and tell a nurse or doctor early on.  They are also the ones who make a nurse's job a little easier.  If you are not sure if this sounds like a good career choice for you, speak to an experienced patient care technician or a nurse who works with one.  They will be able to tell you about their job experiences as well as their job satisfaction.

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