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Can you picture yourself working with patients on a daily basis? Do you like the satisfaction that comes from helping others? If so, Patient Care Technician training might be a good idea for you.
What is a Patient Care Technician? What do Patient Care Technicians do?
Also called Patient Care Assistants, these professionals work closely with nursing teams in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care residences, and other facilities to support patients in a number of ways. They may be responsible for administering electrocardiograms (EKGs), delivering basic First Aid, or collecting blood specimens. Or they may have more direct care responsibilities, such as helping patients bathe, get dressed, or move from place to place. Patient Care Technicians play an important role with a wide range of responsibilities.
The career path of a Patient Care Technician can be personally rewarding. As a patient care assistant, you will have the opportunity to develop meaningful bonds with patients and have the satisfaction of knowing that you are truly helping others in their time of need.
What is the difference between a Patient Care Technician and a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA)? A Patient Care Technician receives more training than a CNA. Students in the Patient Care Technician program first receive training in the CNA curriculum, and then they continue on to receive more in-depth training in areas such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic First Aid, and phlebotomy (blood draws). These additional skills can help you to qualify for more rewarding job positions in the field of healthcare.
Patient Care Technician (Patient Care Assistant) Training and Certification
The Patient Care Technician training at Harris is divided into two programs. Patient Care Technician I focuses on basic patient care skills and provides an introduction to additional clinical skills. The Patient Care Technician II program provides advanced training on EKG skills, blood drawing and specimen collection procedures, and also emphasizes legal and ethical issues.
The Patient Care Technician programs are designed to help students prepare for the Patient Care Technician/Assistant certification exam. This exam is offered for an additional fee by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). At Harris, we encourage students to prepare for this exam, since earning a certification is one way to show potential employers that you are skilled in your new career field.
If you think that this career field matches your professional interests, read more! Find out about the job outlook, the types of jobs that are common in this field, and the training you will need to get started.
All in a Day’s Work
On a typical day as a patient care technician/assistant, you might have the following responsibilities:
- Assisting a patient with basic needs (moving from a bed to a chair, handling personal hygiene, getting dressed)
- Taking a patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, temperature)
- Administering an electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Collecting a blood specimen through a blood draw procedure
- Sharing a patient’s health concerns with the nurses on duty
- Helping the patients with their meals and beverages
- Assisting the nursing staff with a variety of tasks as needed
Consider a Career as a Patient Care Technician
Learn about your job responsibilities, outlook for employment, and earning trends.
Harris’s Patient Care Technician Training Curriculum
Read about the curriculum at Harris and how it prepares you for this career field.
Career Placement Services
Find out how our Career Services department helps students get started on their way to their new careers.