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A Day in the Life of a Patient Care Technician

Patient care technicians are on the front line of most patient care no matter what the setting.  They carry out the bulk of the hygiene and monitoring tasks.  They perform their work usually under a registered or practical nurse. 

Hospitals are traditional setting that employ patient care techs but in recent years community organizations, clinics and laboratories are beginning to increase their staff with PCTs. 

What does a day in the life of a Patient Care Technician look like?  It often begins by reporting to the supervising nurse.  This is when you will receive updates and instructions for patient care and procedures that need to be completed.  Depending on the certification and department that you work will determine what your day will look like.  Below are some examples of what a patient care technician does in different settings.

Hospital Patient care technicians working in the long term care unit will often do more tasks that will include personal care.  This may include taking vitals, helping those get dressed, help with bathes, helping with eating and other activities of daily living. 

Working in the ER department will be much different in terms of what tasks may be performed.  Vitals are always a given, but you may also be required to take patients to different departments for tests.  Depending on the test ordered you may be performs some of these.  With the PCT certification you may be asked to do phlebotomy work or do EKG reading. 

Laboratories and clinics setting will also be different for the work tasks for the patient care technician.  Depending on the type of laboratories and Clinics you work will determine what tasks will be performs.  More of your phlebotomy training that you received will come in handing in Labs and Clinics. Usually very little patient care in involved in these type of environments.  Patients usually just come in for a procedure and then leave. 

Becoming a patient care technician is a great choice for anyone that wants to have a steady career choice for the future.  Those who decide to go the route of working in health care means having job security.  The need for PCTs are all over the place, so there are plenty of job opportunities. 

Since this is a high demand career choice because of the multiple certifications needed, the salary is generally well.  This is a career choice that offers lots of flexibility in which work departments to find employment. 

Find schools and institutions that offer training that meet with your state requirements.  There are several community colleges and vocational schools that offer this program.  Often times if you are already employed at a hospital as a certified nursing assistant the training is available to you.  Find out from you employer if this is a option.

So before you know it, you may be living the day in the life of a Patient Care Technician.