Patient care technicians spend most of their work time with the patients, although they provide care under the supervision of a technician. This is why they need to be friendly and compassionate because they have the most contact with the patients than the other members of the medical team. Most of them are employed in hospitals, private clinics, and nursing homes.
Patient care technicians serve as the main caregiver of the patients, especially for the elderly patients in nursing homes. It is their job to feed them, bathe them, help them get to the toilet, and dress and groom them. Every day, they get the patients in and out of their bed, take them on walks, or push them around in wheelchairs. Patient care technicians also take up the responsibilities of cleaning the rooms and making the beds of the patients if there are no housekeepers or orderlies around.
Another major responsibility for patient care technicians is to observe and monitor the patients. This includes getting the vital signs of the patients, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate. They record these vital signs, as well as the patients’ complaints and concerns that the doctor needs to know. It is also the patient care technicians’ duty to monitor the physical, mental, and emotional condition of the patients, while reporting any possible problems to their attending doctor.
Collaboration with the Medical Team
Patient care technicians are bound to work with the physician and nurses of the patients. They assist the medical team during treatments and examinations. They are also responsible for setting and man some of the equipment and supplies needed for the treatment. These techs may be asked to take notes when the doctor evaluates the patients, draw blood, collect specimens, and operate equipment like the electrocardiograms. There are also states that allow patient care technicians to fill medications. Read more about patient care technician training.
Patients need companions and patient care technicians can play that role. Some even serve as the patients’ companions for years. They might even forge a deep bond with their patients and the families, as they provide mental and emotional support.
Employment Outlook and Salary
Patient care technicians fall under the category of nursing assistants and orderlies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the demand for these technicians would increase by 17% to 21% from 2012 to 2022. Their median salary was around $24,420 in May 2012. Read more about salary of patient care technician.