An employee who has the skills to perform a variety of tasks can be an asset to a healthcare organization. A patient care technician (PCT) typically performs clinical and office tasks. Having this broad skill set enables them to assist with patient services as well as administrative tasks. A patient care tech offers a unique combination of skills to support doctors and nurses as they care for patients.
Responsibilities of a Patient Care Technician
Like many allied health careers, there can be variety in a patient care technician’s day-to-day work. PCTs may perform functions such as:
- Helping patients with the activities of daily life
- Using diagnostic equipment such as an EKG machine
- Collecting blood specimens
- Inputting information into patient medical records
- Assisting with daily activities like helping a patient bathe, dress, eat, walk, and get in and out of bed.
How to Become a Patient Care Technician
Education as a patient care technician typically takes one to two years. A diploma program includes courses like:
- Principles of Allied Health
- Anatomy & Physiology and Medical Terminology
- Clinical Lab Procedures and Phlebotomy
Additionally, a patient care technician program offers hands-on training to use diagnostic equipment and how to maintain a sterile environment. When in-class coursework is completed, put your skills into practice during a clinical externship. An externship at an actual healthcare office gives you hands-on experience working with actual patients and clinicians. Externships also provide networking opportunities.
Earning Patient Care Technician Certification
You should attend a school that provides course preparation to sit for the State of Florida Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) exam, the Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam and Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) exam. Graduates must meet eligibility requirements to take the examinations.