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What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Learn all about Patient Care Technician duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Patient Care Technician.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A patient care technician is a health care worker who provides basic patient care services. They may work in a hospital, nursing home, or other health care facility. Patients may be of any age, but most are adults.

Patient care technicians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states require certification, and many employers prefer to hire certified workers. Patient care technicians must be able to follow instructions and work well with others. They must also be able to lift and move patients.

Patient Care Technician job duties include:

  • Assisting patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating
  • Checking patients’ vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, and pulse
  • Administering medications and injections
  • Collecting blood and tissue samples
  • Performing electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Assisting with medical procedures
  • Providing emotional support to patients and their families
  • Educating patients about their health conditions
  • Serving as a patient advocate
  • Maintaining patient confidentiality

Patient Care Technician Job Requirements

Patient care technicians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may require certification, and on-the-job training is also common. Previous experience in a healthcare setting is helpful but not always required.

Patient Care Technician Skills

  • Assisting patients with activities of daily living
  • Providing basic patient care
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other specimens
  • Preparing and administering injections
  • Performing electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Changing dressings
  • Operating medical equipment
  • Assisting with diagnostic tests
  • Helping patients to ambulate
  • Providing emotional support to patients and families

Related: Top Patient Care Technician Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Patient Care Technician

A Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a health care worker who provides basic patient care services. PCTs work under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. They are responsible for taking vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature, and recording them in the patient’s chart. PCTs also help patients with personal hygiene, such as bathing and toileting. In addition, PCTs may provide emotional support to patients and their families.

If you are interested in becoming a Patient Care Technician, you will need to complete a training program. Many community colleges offer PCT training programs that last around six months. During your training, you will learn about medical terminology, infection control, and how to take vital signs. You will also have the opportunity to shadow a PCT or nurse in a clinical setting. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a certification exam before you can begin working as a PCT.

If you are compassionate and enjoy helping others, then a career as a Patient Care Technician may be right for you. With the proper training and certification, you can begin making a difference in the lives of patients in need of care.

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