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Patient Care Technician Career Outlook

Sep 30, 2010

There are many jobs available for patient care technicians in many areas of health care.  Hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, and assisted-living centers are just some of the places hiring patient care technicians.  Currently, there is a shortage of many different types of health care professionals and, fortunately for those entering this exciting and challenging field, patient care technicians are experiencing a shortage as well.  While patient care technicians are unlicensed professionals and this is generally thought to be an entry-level career, there is a continuing need for them throughout the country and will continue to be a need for them for many years to come. 

Job Description

Patient care technicians are responsible for a number of tasks that keep hospitals, clinics, offices, and long-term care facilities running smoothly and also keep patients comfortable and satisfied with their care.  Patient care technicians work under the directions of licensed personnel such as nurses and doctors.  They provide patient care by helping patients to care for themselves, eat, bathe, and reposition themselves.  They can also spot a problem and tell a nurse or other health care professional.  They meet the immediate needs of patients like filling their water pitchers and getting them extra blankets.  They also can be companions for patients, addressing a patient's concerns or communicating their concerns to the doctor or nurse. 

Opportunities for Advancement

There are many opportunities for advancement as a patient care technician.  Many hospitals provide training programs for patient care technicians to obtain new knowledge or learn skills to help improve their job and therefore make them more marketable.  The job of patient care technician is often an individual's first foray into health care. 

Many patient care technicians return to school to be nurses, respiratory therapists, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, or even doctors.  This is an excellent career choice to see if a career in a medical field is a good fit for you.

How Can I Maximize My Salary?

The best way to maximize your salary as a patient care technician is to gain as much skill and knowledge as possible.  This can be from working hard at your current job, attending special classes that might be offered by your employer, or becoming certified in CPR.  This might also mean returning to or beginning school to get a degree to become a different member of the health care team.  Many patient care technicians return to school to become nurses or are currently nursing students.  This allows them to practice their patient care techniques in preparation for their new jobs.

How Do I know If a Career as a Patient Care Technician Is Right for Me?

If the job of patient care technician sounds like an interesting job for you, you should investigate open positions in your area or talk to a patient care technician with some experience about their job.  Other health care providers, such as nurses and doctors, will be able to talk to you about the important jobs that patient care technicians do every day to help other medical staff as well as patients.

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