If tending to patients gives you emotional satisfaction, taking up a career as a patient care technician is a good choice. Not requiring a high level of education (but a lot of skill), the job of patient care technicians is full of challenges. They basically assist patients in doing work that they cannot do for themselves including bathing, toileting and grooming. They also provide support to nurses and doctors with clinical procedures.
In many instances, patient care technicians are also referred to as hospital assistants or certified nursing assistants. Mostly, a patient care technician is required to possess a high school diploma – in some facilities, you may be required to be certified. There are certain skills that one needs to work as a patient care technician including the ability to take and record vitals, draw blood and the capability to stay calm during stressful situations.
Patient care technicians typically work under the supervision of registered nurses. They set up therapeutic equipment, empty bedpans and collect specimens for testing purposes. Often, the work of a patient care technician is both physically and emotionally exhausting and employers tend to hire individuals who are physically dexterous and emotionally stable.
• Assess patients’ conditions by looking through their medical histories
• Provide care according to implemented care plans
• Assist patients with daily chores such as bathing, toileting and grooming
• Ambulate, turn and position patients to prevent bed sores and stiffness
• Take and record vitals such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature readings
• Take blood, stool and urine samples and order tests
• Administer medication on specific instructions of registered nurses and record medication information
• Serve nutritious meals to patients and assist them in feeding themselves
• Assist doctors and nurses with treatments and procedures
• Prepare and disseminate unit reports and physician orders
• Provide basic therapeutic services and support clinical operations under supervision
• Monitor patients for signs of improvements and distress and report any significant findings immediately
• Move patients to and from wheelchairs and accompany them on activities, sessions and appointments
• Make beds and keep patients’ rooms clean and sanitized
• Assist patients in walking and during physical therapy exercises
• Provide patients with counseling services by acting as emotional support and listening to grievances
• Handle medical emergencies by employing knowledge of First Aid and CPR
• Ascertain patient safety especially in cases of high-risk patients with mental instabilities
• Create and maintain patient records and ensure confidentiality of patient information