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How to Be a Good Patient Care Technician

harris schoolThis hands-on role in healthcare can make a huge difference in patients’ lives

The role of a patient care technician is one that requires regular interactions with patients and other caregivers, as well as skills to perform basic hands-on tasks and deliver care to those who need it. You may find that this would suit you well, given your interests and talents.

Once you have completed your classroom studies and gained real-world experience in a hospital or other healthcare facility through an externship, you’ll have the tools to jump into your first job. When you do, these hints can help you put your best professional foot forward.

Here are some suggestions to help you:

Set yourself up for a good start to the workday

  • Arrive a few minutes before your shift is schedule to start. Use the time to prioritize the day’s tasks so that you don’t have to stop and take the time to prioritize on the go.
  • Check in with your supervisor and ask what is expected of you during your shift.
  • Before entering a patient’s room, make sure you have at the ready all the supplies you may need. This will save you time and several trips back and forth to retrieve them.
  • Consider wearing a waist pack to carry supplies like pens and notebooks that you use frequently.
  • If the facility allows, carry your own blood pressure kit and thermometer. This will cut down on the time you would need to always go looking for an available one.

Be professional

As a patient care technician, you will be assisting patients who are not at their best. They will most likely need help with basic personal care such as showering and using the bathroom, getting dressed, or eating. Be mindful of their privacy as much as possible. Always treat patients with respect, kindness, and courtesy. If they are feeling up to it, engage patients in friendly conversation.

Keep track of important details

You’d be surprised how many distractions and different duties over the course of the day can make it hard to recall even some of the most basic—but essential—details. All you need is a strategy. Write down notes to yourself about things you need to remember, especially at the beginning, and you’ll have the info at your fingertips when you need it.

Make thoughtful use of information that’s available

Read patients’ care plans completely and make note of any questions you may have. Then take those questions to your supervisor. Always take the opportunity to observe how your supervisor or more experienced co-worker handles a procedure and communicates with patients.

We encourage you to learn more about a day in the life of a patient care technician. Perhaps the next step is to research a PCT program like the one at Harris School of Business. Whatever path you choose, we wish you the best of luck!

This post is part of the weekly blog of the Harris School of Business. We’re dedicated to supporting all our students in pursuing their career goals. Reach out to us for more information about our number of different career training programs.