Do you Have to be Certified to be a Patient Care Technician (PCT)?

Patient Care Technician Courses

Patient Care Technicians are medical professionals that work with nurses to provide care to patients during their medical visits and hospital stays.

Patient Care Technicians are responsible for:

  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse checks throughout the day
  • Acquiring specimens, performing tests, and notating the results
  • Taking note of the patients eating and drinking habits
  • Moving patients to other areas of the hospital for testing
  • Providing a high level of care to each and every patient
  • Being a source of emotional support for patients

Patient Care Technicians enhance the patient’s visit, by making them more comfortable. They also make it a bit easier for the nurses and other medical technicians, as they are able to perform tasks related to the medical care of patients. 

Because Patient Care Technicians (PCT) are vital to both patients and medical staff, they are required to be certified. First, the potential Patient Care Technician has to take and pass an approved education course in the field. After taking the course, the candidate must take and pass the NCLEX test, and a certification test for the National Healthcare Association. A certificate from the state of potential employment is required in order to be hired as a Patient Care Technician.

Of course, in addition to the basic requirements above, employers may also require that the candidate also pass a drug test, background check, and require additional or continued educational requirements.

Potential employers include: 

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Long-Term Care Homes
  • Adult Daycare Locations

Many people confuse Patient Care Technicians with CNA’s, but they are not interchangeable. CNA’s work under the watch of a doctor or nurse, and they only provide basic care for the patient. They can check vitals, bathe, and feed patients if they need assistance with doing so. Patient Care Technicians can provide all of the services of a CNA, but they are also able to draw blood and use medical devices as needed. The extent of the differences in duties varies by state, as each state has its own set of regulations per role.

What do Patient Care Technicians do?

As a Patient Care Technician, one can expect to assist patients in many areas. The Patient Care Technician is responsible for checking blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels, and temperatures for patients in their care. They also assist doctors with physical exams, administer medication, change linens, and help those that may not be able to bathe, relieve themselves, or feed themselves due to their condition. It is important to keep good composure, a positive attitude, and to be efficient with tasks. Showing empathy and being able to multitask are necessary qualities for those wanting to be a Patient Care Technician to encompass.

After one becomes a Patient Care Technician, there are many areas to branch out in. They each have their own niche, so there is bound to be one that draws you in. After becoming a Patient Care Technician, you can acquire employment as a dialysis technician, doctors office technician, general hospital technician, rehabilitation technician, emergency room technician, or a telemetry technician. Each area uses the same skill set to get results in different medical areas. The possibilities for a Patient Care Technician are bountiful!

As a Patient Care Technician, one can expect: 

  • Benefit packages
  • Competitive pay
  • Flexible schedules
  • Job Security
  • To really make an impact on the lives of patients.

The training to become a Patient Care Technician is very in-depth and requires one to really buckle down and take it seriously. After taking the required courses, and passing the required testing and certifications, one will be ready to take on the job as a Patient Care Technician with skill and confidence.

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