If you're looking to enter the medical field, becoming a patient care technician is a great option – especially since the job prospects for this little-known role are growing.
Patient care technicians assist doctors and nurses with the daily care of patients. They can help with personal care such as feeding or bathing and with more complicated procedures like drawing blood.
The main difference between patient care technicians (PCTs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is their level of training. While the rules differ from state to state, in general, patient care technicians are entrusted with more patient responsibilities. For example, PCTs can usually administer echocardiograms while CNAs cannot.
There are several patient care technician skills that are important to the role. Some medical and procedural knowledge is important, but good PCTs also embody the following soft skills.
Good communication skills are vital in all healthcare professions, but especially for patient care technicians. PCTs need to be able to communicate information clearly to other staff to ensure proper care is given. They also need to calmly explain information to patients to keep them informed about their care.
However, listening is just as important. Most of the time, patients know their own conditions best. Remembering and following their care preferences can improve the experience for both patients and PCTs.
Patient care technicians frequently work with patients who need routine care performed. They may work with the same patient over a significant period of time in a nursing home or hospice. Because of this, they often become a familiar presence for patients going through difficult times. Being dependable by showing up to your shifts on time and with a good attitude is vital in this role.
Patient care technicians frequently help people with basic care needs. Depending on the patient, this may involve bathing and help with toileting. These tasks aren’t glamorous, but they are vital to the patient’s health. No matter how many times they perform a task, PCTs must continue to display the patience and respect their patients deserve.
Patient care technicians may perform the same procedure many times in the same day. However, they need to be mindful during every procedure, making sure they follow each step carefully to ensure the best possible medical outcome.
PCTs may also need to fill out several forms a day to inform doctors and nurses about their work and the patient’s needs. These forms may begin to feel routine. Nevertheless, PCTs must put thought into each form to ensure that doctors have as much information as possible to guide treatment.
While many of the soft skills of being a patient care technician come from personality or experience, you can work on the learned skills through MedCert’s Patient Care Technician Certification Course. Learn about everything from medical terminology to basic laboratory procedures and tests so you can stand out in this competitive job market.
Patient care technicians assist doctors and nurses with the day-to-day care of patients. While PCTs do learn many technical skills, their soft skills are just as important to successful careers.
If you’re considering a career as a patient care technician or in a related medical field, a MedCerts certification can get you one step closer.