How To Start Your Career as A Patient Care Technician
What Do Patient Care Techs Do?
Patient Care Technicians are part of the day-to-day bustle at busy hospitals, doctors’ offices and long-term care facilities. They play important roles in the lives of the patients they care for.
Due to the increasing shortage of trained health care professionals, hospitals rely on Patient Care Technicians to handle patient care duties that were previously performed by other medical professionals.
Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) have daily hands-on experience with patients, performing procedures such as drawing blood, administering ECGs, taking vital signs, preparing patients for physical exams, and directly assisting physicians and nurses with clinical procedures. They may also work as assistant rehabilitation aides, adult caregivers, and patient activity aides.
Job duties of Patient Care Techs may include:
- Assisting doctors and nurses during medical examination and treatment of patients.
- Collecting and testing specimens.
- Recording and monitoring blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and respiration rate of the patient.
- Administering EKGs.
- Recording, monitoring and reporting patients’ health conditions to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
- Cleaning lacerations and wounds.
- Promptly responding to patient calls and requests.
- Assisting patients with routine personal hygiene, including bathing, dressing, etc.
- Keeping patient rooms clean, making beds for patients, etc.
- Moving or transferring patients from beds to wheelchairs, and assisting patients move about.
Patient Care Technician may also be employed as Medical Assistants, Care Assistants, Staff Assistants, C.N.A.s, Patient Activity Aides, EKG Technicians, Restorative/Rehabilitation Aides, and more.
They assume the responsibilities of an entry level trained caregiver. You will find PCTs working in Emergency Room Care, or as Unit Clerks, Secretaries, Receptionists, Phlebotomy Technicians, Patient Services, Patient Intake Representatives, Patient Observers, Rehabilitation Nurse Technicians, Telemetry Technicians, Pharmacy Techs, Allergy Technicians, Unit Clerks, Clinical Assistants, Care Managers, and Chiropractic Assistants.
As a Patient Care Technician, you’ll be a well-respected professional playing a critical role in the field of healthcare. You will meet new people and work side-by-side doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Education and Training Requirements for PCTs
To start your Patient Care Tech training, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer applicants who are also Certified Nurse Aides, or who have taken emergency medical technician programs as well.
To receive your Patient Care Technician Certificate you must successfully complete the following:
- Certified Nurse Aid
- Phlebotomy & Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Clinical Procedures
- Administration & Healthcare Team
After completing their Patient Care Technician training in NJ, students can take the certification exam from the National Health Career Association (NHA) and become a Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT).
Get Your Patient Care Technician Certificate
At the end of the Patient Care Technician program you take, you will receive a certificate and have gained the necessary entry-level knowledge and clinical skills necessary to start your entry level career. You’ll then be eligible to work in hospitals, surgical centers, rehabilitation facilities, and a wide range of other healthcare settings. Most Patient Care Technician training courses are a year or a little more in length, so you will be able to start your career quickly.
What Starting Salary Can You Expect?
Patient Care Technicians are in high demand, and there are many job opportunities all over the country. Patient care technicians have excellent job prospects, and opportunities in this field are expected to increase rapidly in years to come.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the job outlook for Patient Care Assistants is better than average. Positions are expected to increase faster than average between 2012 and 2022, growing by an estimated 21% during the decade. This due to the exponential growth of the elderly population. The occupational outlook is especially good in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Average salary for a Patient Care Technician in New Jersey is $36,000, according to Indeed.com. Salary may range from between $19,530 – $38,000 annually, depending on the healthcare facility and your experience in the field.
Setting Yourself Up for Success at a Patient Care Technician School in NJ
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine, Patient Care Technician may be a great choice for you. A career as a Patient Care Technician can be a valuable first step into the world of professional healthcare. Enroll in a Patient Care Technician training program that is designed to help you build the skills and experience you need to begin your career.
We hope this blog post gave you a good sense of what it takes to reach your goals.