Patient Care Technician Career Guide

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The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But it is also a fact that without a doctor no one can manage to survive in the real world. It is the doctor who keeps people updated regarding what to eat and what not to. A lot of specialists learn from the expertise of doctors during training or by working with them. One such professional is a patient care technician, who concentrates entirely on enhancing the health conditions of patients suffering from various disorders. Therefore, it is important to have credentials meeting the demands of the profession before you decide to enter this area.

Career Snapshot

Patient Care Technicians hold a significant place within the settings of healthcare. They usually accompany healthcare professionals including nurses and doctors to provide direct patient care. The tasks to perform are brushing a patients’ hair and teeth, feeding them, helping them take showers and getting them carefully out of bed. They may also facilitate patients in reading signs, recording their height and weight, maintaining nutritional diaries, assisting with their mobility and delivering them food trays. They also assist transferring patients to and from the wheel chair, help them reach the ambulance and help them perform motion exercises.

In addition to that, Patient Care Technicians are also responsible for collecting information about patients such as checking their vital signs and gathering blood samples. They are the key members of a medical team that interacts mostly with patients.

Job Outlook

Patient Care Technicians are considered to be important members of the healthcare industry in the United States. They have plenty of employment opportunities along with a wide variety of locations to work in. They usually work in long-term care facilities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation clinics, or nursing homes. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 around 67,340 were employed as health information technicians for general medical and surgical hospitals. Career prospects shoot up with relevant experience in this area along with appropriate qualification.

Salary Outlook

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 the annual mean salary in general medical and surgical hospital for PCTs was almost $37,960. The salary forecast heavily depends upon the level of education and experience, the employer and the location.

Educational Requirements

To pursue this career, candidates need to be a graduate at least. Candidates possessing a graduate degree are required to assist and perform the procedures of phlebotomy, CPR and First Aid, and electrocardiograms (EKGs). Also a combination of practical exercises and lectures is provided to students along with real world practices and externships. The graduates of a PCT degree get eligible for the designation of certified nurse assistant (CNA) after they manage to pass the examination. You could also opt for an online degree rather than a conventional one.

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