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What the Heck Is a Patient Care Tech? And What Do They Do?

When looking into what you want to do in your career in healthcare, you may come across a job called a Patient Care Technician (PCT). Like many people you may be thinking, what the heck is a patient care Technician? If this is you then allow me to define this career for you.

A Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a Jack/Jill of many trades. They can act as CNAs, Phlebotomist and even Cardiographic (EKG) Technicians. In our current economy we are always told to do more with less. A Patient Care Technician can perform the same job as 3 different healthcare workers! Needless to say, this career field is growing, and growing FAST!

PCT Job Responsibilities
There are 3 main focuses that a Patient Care Technician is responsible for.

First, a PCT has the knowledge and training of a CNA. However, they differ from a CNA in the manner that they can provide advanced care in the realms of rehabilitation, pediatric care, obstetric care, psychiatric care, urinary care, wound care, and much more! And that is just scratching the surface.

Second, a PCT can provide a full range of phlebotomy services that their patients may require. PCTs are well-versed in venipuncture techniques and can be responsible for obtaining blood, urine and other specimens from patients. This can then be submitted to the laboratory for further testing and diagnosis. In addition, they can also assist in dialysis clinics with dialysis procedures and care given to patients receiving the treatments.

Finally, a PCT performs electrocardiographic testing. A PCT can conduct rhythm and 12 lead EKG testing, as well as, evaluating and interpreting electrocardiograms. A PCT performing these functions will have a comprehensive knowledge of cardiovascular anatomy, physiology and general anatomy. Assisting in the care and testing of cardiovascular patients and heart disease is one of the most interesting facets of the Patient Care Technician position.

PCT Certification
Most PCTs that are gainfully employed are nationally certified. The National Health Career Association certifies Patient Care Technicians and is a destination for information on the career. As with any healthcare profession having a national certification gives the PCT a professional designation.

PCTs are employed in many different types of care institutions. PCTs can be found in most major hospitals and medical centers, long-term care, rehabilitation centers, dialysis clinics and more.

PCT Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Patient Care Technicians is projected to grow 19% through 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. The job outlook for these positions is growing due to the long-term care needs of the increasing elderly population. Due to the aging baby boomer population, the healthcare industry in general is expected to see a considerable increase in growth over the next decade.

As the population continues to age, the rate of heart disease will become more prevalent and the demand for Cardiographic Technicians is expected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not have the specific employment outlook for certified Cardiographic Technicians; however, the organization did report that the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians was projected to increase 29% between 2010 and 2020.

So what the heck is a Patient Care Tech? They are a very skilled medical professional that brings a large body of knowledge and skill sets to the medical table. They are a CNA, Phlebotomist and a Cardiographic Technician all rolled into one.

If you want a challenging, rewarding and ever-changing career, become a Patient Care Technician.

Arizona Medical Training Institute has been preparing students for successful careers in healthcare since, 1996. AMTI is unique. We provide leading industry certifications in healthcare, with a focus solely on the student, in a professional and encouraging manner. From having the top CNA pass rate for the Arizona State board of Nursing examination for the last several years, to being the only Phlebotomy Program in Arizona to carry a NAACLS program accreditation, AMTI has a history of success in education. We also train Certified Caregivers, and Medical Laboratory Assistants. AMTI does not stop there also offering consulting services for private care home set up with an all inclusive Administrative Package, Assisted Living Manager training and Continuing Education Units both online and in class.To learn more about AMTI and get signed up for classes, go to
By Dave A Beatty