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What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Patient care technicians work closely with nurses and health care staff to ensure patients are healthy and comfortable. Patient care technicians, PCTs for short, can also be referred to as nursing assistants and help with basics such as changing sheets or helping patients to the restroom.


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Working as a Patient Care Technician

Nursing assistants, or orderlies, help with a patient's daily activities. They will work along with and are overseen by nurses to perform the following:

  • Cleaning and bathing patients as well as changing their bed linens
  • Helping patients dress and take meals
  • Helping patients move from bed to chair and assisting with any exercises
  • Listening to patient health concerns and providing emotional support to patients
  • Monitoring vitals such as blood sugar and blood pressure
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How much does a Patient Care Technician make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $19.50
Low $13.12
High $28.99
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a patient care technician is $19.50 per hour in the United States. 8k salaries reported, updated at January 27, 2023

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Where can a Patient Care Technician earn more?

Compare salaries for Patient Care Technicians in different locations
Explore Patient Care Technician openings
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Nursing Assistant

176,559 job openings

Average $19.83 per hour

Registered Nurse - Medical/Surgical

460,587 job openings

Average $2,548 per week

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Common questions about for a Patient Care Technician

How many questions are on the patient care technician (PCT) exam?

The patient care technician (PCT) exam consists of 100 questions plus 20 pretest questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allowed to complete the exam.

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What is the difference between a patient care technician and a certified nursing assistant (CNA)?

Patient care technicians perform the same tasks as certified nursing assistants but can also be qualified to perform other responsibilities such as electrocardiogram readings and drawing blood. Because of this, patient care technicians typically earn more than certified nursing assistants.

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What is desirable about a patient care technician career?

Many patient care technicians find enjoyment in caring for patients. Healthcare is very social and it affords the opportunity to build lasting bonds with co-workers and patients alike. It is also an environment that is fast-paced with little down-time.

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What is a typical schedule like for patient care technicians?

How long does a patient care technician course take to complete?

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