Patient Care Technicians, also called Patient Care Associates, fill a vital role in health care delivery by providing multiple skills such as phlebotomy, EKG, nursing assistant and at times data entry in patient care areas. Patient Care Technicians may work in different departments under the supervision of different licensed personnel, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, laboratory and cardiology supervisors.
The Patient Care Technician may provide routine care to patients, take and record vital signs,perform glucose tests, collect specimens for testing, assist in rehabilitative programs, perform phlebotomy venipuncture, obtain electrocardiograms, and may perform unit clerical duties. Familiarity with medical terminology and filing procedures is often required. Strong grammar and spelling abilities are essential. Duties may include word processing, data entry, reception, as well as interaction with vendors and patients.
Patient Care Technicians work in hospitals, nursing homes, public health clinics, doctor’s offices, independent clinical laboratories, or blood banks.
Employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Because of the growing elderly population, many nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed in long-term care facilities.
Training can be obtained at regional vocational schools, specialized training centers, community colleges and sometimes is offered by employers. The training usually consists of 100 hours of lecture accompanied by about 250 hours of supervised clinical practice, and program lengths may require part-time or full-time attendance for several months.
Certification as a Nursing Assistant is required to be a Patient Care Technician.
Any educational institution or program that has this program available.