Patient care technicians (PCT) are members of a medical team that takes care of patients and they are expected to be available for patient care 24x7. Along with strong interpersonal skills, a patient care technician needs to have an empathetic mind. He is expected to be extremely attentive and responsive to the patients' needs. He needs to be composed, understanding and prompt at providing quality care to the patients. He needs to have a pedantic approach towards the patients' needs.
A high school diploma or equivalent is a requisite for being able to work as a patient care technician. Programs in health services with vocational training can definitely help in pursuing a career as a PCT. It is advisable that you attend PCT programs by technical schools or community colleges, as a trained patient care technician is preferred by employers. Also, completion of the program will enable you to undertake the State Certification Examination. After passing the exam you will become a certified patient care technician.
Salary by Experience
- All figures are as of May 2013, and in US Dollars.
|Less than 1 year||$18,313 - $39,777|
|1-4 years||$15,866 - $42,644|
|5-9 years||$18,100 - $45,000|
|10-19 years||$23,179 - $37,340|
|20 years or more||$31,862 - $41,986|
Salary by State
- All figures are as of March 2013, and in US Dollars.
- All figures are average annual salaries and may vary according to education, experience, location, and type of employment.
A patient care technician works in a variety of health care environments like clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or even at homes of patients, as per the requirement. He takes care of the physically and mentally ill patients as well as the injured and disabled patients, under the supervision of medical professionals. The duties of a PCT include the following.
- Assisting doctors and nurses during medical examination and treatment of patients.
- Setting up the necessary therapeutic equipment and assisting in providing first aid.
- Recording and monitoring blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate of the patient and updating medical records.
- Recording, monitoring and reporting patients' health condition to the medical authorities.
- Promptly responding to patient's calls and requests.
- Serving and feeding meals, when the patients cannot do it themselves.
- Looking after the personal hygiene of patients by assisting them in bathing, dressing up, etc.
- Keeping the patient's room clean, making the bed for patients, etc.
- Moving or transferring the patient from the bed to the wheelchair or assisting the patient in motion exercises and ambulation.
- Collecting and testing specimen and even performing phlebotomy.
- Cleaning and irrigating lacerations.
- Providing assistance for pelvic examinations.
You can gain experience in specific medical areas and have a specialized job profile by becoming a dialysis patient care technician, ER patient care technician, ICU patient care technician, to name a few. It can be safely concluded that the job of a PCT is rewarding. More than the salary this job offers, it's the satisfaction that counts.