Patient Care Technician’s support nurses, doctors and other medical staff in caring for patients with physical and mental health concerns. Patient Care Technicians are employed in a wide range of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living communities and more.
What Does a Patient Care Technician Do?
Under the supervision of nursing staff and a larger care team, Patient Care Technicians directly support patients during hospital stays and medical visits.
Patient Care Technicians hold a wide range of responsibilities, including:
- Providing quality patient care that includes emotional support and guidance
- Obtain specimens, conduct tests and record results
- Check blood pressure, heart rate and pulse on a regular basis
- Monitor patient condition and provide updates to care team
- Monitor patients’ food and liquid intake
- Escort patients to X-ray and other diagnostic imaging processes
By providing this vital support to patients and medical staff, Patient Care Technicians streamline the delivery of medical care and improve the patient’s overall comfort and experience.
What Certifications or Degrees Do I Need to Become a Patient Care Technician?
To become a Patient Care Technician, an individual must first complete an approved educational course, pass the NCLEX exam (NCLEX exam as part of the Nursing Assisting component of the program) and a certification exam before the National Healthcare Association, and obtain certification from the state in which they live and work.
Individual employers and states may also require candidates for Patient Care Technician positions to pass a background check, obtain professional certification and complete continuing education credits or training.
What Is the Employment Outlook for a Patient Care Technician?
According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for Patient Care Technicians was $26,590 in May 2016.
Employment opportunities for Patient Care Technicians are on the rise. According to a study of employment in the healthcare field, the employment within the Patient Care Technician field will grow by 17 percent by 2024. That’s an additional 267,800 jobs on top of the already more than 1.5 million currently active Patient Care Technicians.