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7 Essential Skills for a Successful Patient Care Technician

Patient care technicians make between $40k and $54k annually, but that’s not the only reason this field is a great choice. A PCT works with patients more than many other medical professionals do. They provide daily care to patients who struggle with everyday tasks, which makes for a rewarding career.

However, there is a wide range of PCT training requirements that you must meet. Read on to learn some patient care technician skills that you need to prioritize when building your dream medical career.

1. Measuring Vital Signs

Those who go to any medical care facility will usually need their vital signs taken. Vital signs include heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse strength, and temperature. These signs check how healthy a patient is, and a PCT can measure them over time to see changes.

One core function of vital signs is to help nurses and doctors figure out how to best care for patients. They can make note of complaints and check to see if anything is off. Signs alert technicians to potential problems that might lead to more testing for things like blood sugar monitoring or other bloodwork.

2. Drawing Blood

Bloodwork can tell physicians and patients what’s causing many symptoms. To get it tested in the lab, a patient care technician will draw blood. Also known as “phlebotomy,” this collection process requires an understanding of where to draw blood and how to do so safely.

When acquitting essential healthcare skills in a top-notch PCT training program, you’ll learn the locations of major veins and arteries from which you can draw blood. You’ll learn the different types of needles and understand the differences in insertion processes for straight needles vs butterfly needles.

It’s also critical to gain knowledge of California state phlebotomy regulations and the policies of various healthcare facilities. Getting essential healthcare skills from a California-based institution can speed this process along and make you a more competitive hire.

3. Tailoring Patient Care

The main function of a PCT is to help patients receive routine care and treatment. PCTs specifically work with those who need help performing daily activities like bathing and dressing. Other living functions like feeding and using the bathroom may also require assistance.

Patient care technicians understand potential mental and physical roadblocks that stand in the way of the patient caring for themselves. They perform necessary tasks and record what the patient is able and unable to do over time.

PCTs also frequently need to learn home care skills as well as nursing assistance. Working with patients who are aging in place or recovering at home is a huge part of the job. You’ll need to understand the ins and outs of helping someone thrive within the walls of their home.

4. Keeping Records

A PCT functions as a note-taker who gathers information about patients. When you assist someone, you’ll take notes about what they’re struggling with, what their pain levels are, and what their vital signs look like. These notes will go to physicians within the practice so doctors can make informed decisions about treatment plans.

However, this is only one type of record that a PCT will work with. They also will manage medical records for pharmacies so patients can get the medications they need to thrive. They also can talk with patients about medication interactions, side effects, insurance procedures, and billing processes that they must go through.

Understanding electronic records and having organizational office skills is key to success for all healthcare jobs including patient care technicians.

5. Preparing Exam Rooms

Medical facilities must follow cleanliness and sanitation-related regulations on their premises. Exam rooms need to be thoroughly sanitized and prepared between patients before a doctor can conduct an examination or provide treatment.

To become a PCT, you’ll need to learn how to follow standard cleaning procedures that keep the room safe and sterile. This means using appropriate cleaners, changing the sheets (or paper toppers) that cover patient beds, and switching out needles to ensure that they’re sterile.

6. Communication

Communicating with patients is one of the most important patient care job skills. You’ll need to talk with them to get the required records for doctors. More importantly, you will have to discuss their specific health concerns and problems so that you can help them resolve the issues they’re struggling with.

Additionally, since you’ll be intimately caring for patients, you’ll need to know how to talk to them comfortably. They need to be comfortable with you bathing and dressing them, which requires an established rapport. This is critical for giving people the health services they need without making them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

But communication isn’t only important on a technician-to-patient level. It’s also a must-have skill for PCTs since they need to communicate with doctors and nurses frequently.

Your records and notes should be neat, but you’ll need to answer questions about the patient and the things they’ve told you as well. You’ll have to feel comfortable talking about symptoms, medication management, and more. Doing so is vital to helping physicians and nurses understand what actions to take next to help a patient.

7. Meeting PCT Training Requirements

Gaining healthcare technician skills can be challenging, but it’s easier with the help of an expert-run Patient Care Technician training program.

With this training, you can get hired into a nursing home, hospital, or home healthcare service center. It only takes 11 months and opens up a lot of doors to you. Plus, it’s the first step toward getting the PCT experience needed to advance into nursing or medical assistance.

You;ll learn all the skills you need and get nationally-recognized certification. While you’ll understand California regulations, you can take your certificate anywhere. Since Healthcare Cateer College also offers job placement, moving forward after getting certified is a breeze.

Start Gaining Patient Care Technician Skills

Now that you know some patient care technician skills needed for success in the medical field, it’s time to acquire both patient care abilities and soft skills.

Healthcare Career College is committed to helping passionate individuals learn the essential healthcare skills they need and placing them in top-notch jobs they’re a perfect fit for. Apply online to begin studying in one of our programs ASAP.