Are you interested in getting into health care as a career? There are many different routes into the field, but there’s one that’s more accessible than you’d think. Becoming a patient care technician also known as a nursing assistant is one of the great ways of gaining a job quickly in a health care setting, and will let you use your people skills in a rewarding way. Here’s everything you need to know about patient care technician school.
What Does A Patient Care Technician Do?
Essentially, a patient care technician is the person that takes care of a patient’s day to day needs. They’re there to ensure their well-being while they’re being cared for in a medical setting. Their duties are varied and numerous, but can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Performing ECG (electrocardiography)
- Blood drawing (venipuncture)
- Help with physical exams with a doctor
- Everyday tasks, such as bathing or shaving
- Helping patients with mobility
This is just a small list, but there are all kinds of things you may be expected to do. You’ll essentially be the first line of communication between the patient and the doctor. That’s why a good patient care technician is compassionate and a good communicator, to ensure the patient gets the best quality of care.
What Kind Of Person Do You Need To Be?
If you want to work in this field, then compassion and empathy are an absolute must. You need to be able to understand the patient’s needs and help them fully utilize their healthcare. If you are working in an emergency room or similar, these skills will be vital as you’re dealing with patients in a crisis setting.
You also need to be passionate about delivering the highest level of health care possible. Everyone involved in a patient’s care needs to really feel deeply about helping others, no matter what position they hold.
How Do You Become A Patient Care Technician?
To train in the skills needed to become a patient care technician, you’ll need to enroll in a good patient care tech school. In addition, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent such as a GED to begin your training. This means that this route into health cares more accessible than others.
When you’re training at school, the length of time it takes will very much depend on your commitment. Training can take as little as eight months. As a training program, it doesn’t take a large amount of your time and is dedicated to getting you into work.
What Do You Learn At School?
As being a patient care technician is such a varied job, you’ll be taught all manner of skills while in school. These will include:
- How to draw blood
- How to perform an ECG
- Performing catheterizations
- Removing sutures and staples
- Proper wound care
- Emergency room procedures
All of these skills and more will help you become an excellent care technician, and make you the best person to handle a patient’s primary care needs.
If you’ve obtained your qualification in patient care, then you can go almost anywhere with it. If you’re interested in furthering your education, then you can get qualifications to become a phlebotomist, or a certified nurse’s assistant or even a nurse. Training as a patient care technician can be a great first step, allowing you to get a feel for the medical industry quickly. If it’s something you like, then training programs can give you additional skills to take your career to the next level.
If you want to get straight into work, then you can do so quite easily. You can get a job in a variety of different health care settings, including:
- Nursing homes
- Blood banks
- Rehabilitation centers
- Home health care agencies
This again is just a small list of the options out there. Find your passion and start caring for patients before you know it.
Patient Care Technician’s Salary
The median pay for a patient care technician or nursing assistants is $12.78 an hour according to BLS.gov, although it can differ depending on the area you work in. It’s found that many technicians choose to advance in their career after obtaining this qualification, branching out into areas such as dialysis. If you want to get a foot hold into a stable career, this is one of the best ways to do so.
If you’re considering becoming a patient care technician, FVI School of Nursing and Technology can help you get on the right path. We’re dedicated to training students for jobs that can help them advance their careers and really start enjoying what they do for a living.
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