Patient Care Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Patient Care Technician, or Medical Care Technician, provides basic health care and support to patients during their stay in a medical facility. Their main duties include sanitizing and cleaning patients’ rooms, monitoring patients’ health and vital signs and assisting patients with basic needs like feeding and grooming.

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Patient Care Technician duties and responsibilities

Patient Care Technicians can have particular duties and responsibilities that are unique to this job. Some of the duties are related to their character since this job requires a higher level of patience and compassion. Other duties include:

  • Checking patients’ blood pressure, heartbeat and pulse regularly
  • Providing compassionate care by listening to patients’ concerns and guiding them by answering any questions or concerns
  • Monitoring patients’ conditions and providing updates to healthcare team
  • Turning, repositioning and move patients between beds, wheelchairs and seats
  • Helping patients use the bathroom and dress
  • Monitoring patients’ food and liquid intake
  • Escort patients to get X-rays and other imaging tests
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Patient Care Technician Job Description Examples

What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Patient Care Technicians provide basic healthcare to patients staying in a hospital or other medical facility. They’ll keep the patients’ rooms clean, sanitized and orderly each day. Patient Care Technicians will regularly visit patients to monitor their health and vital signs, administer medications prescribed by Nurses or Physicians, provide emotional support before and after treatments and assist patients in completing basic tasks like eating, using the restroom or grooming themselves. 

They’ll typically assist Physicians or Nurses during treatments and will explain treatment methods and prescribed medications to the patient and their family. If the Patient Care Technician notices any changes in the patient’s health after the treatment, they’ll notify the Physician or Nurse.

Patient Care Technician skills and qualifications

The skills and qualifications of a Patient Care Technician are obtained through particular programs with on-the-job training. However, there are some skills that cannot be learned and are character-based; so, when hiring a Patient Care Technician, it is important to also understand these aspects of a person’s character:

  • Patience is needed since some tasks, including feeding, cleaning and bathing residents and patients, are repetitive and can be stressful. Technicians need patience to complete these tasks well.
  • Compassion is important since Patient Care Technicians will be helping care for vulnerable people, such as the ill, injured or elderly. 
  • Physical stamina is essential since they will be spending much of their time working on their feet, as well as lifting and moving patients.
  • Communication skills are important in order to effectively speak to patients, their loved ones and nurses and doctors about patients’ conditions and other important information.

What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Patient Care Technicians provide basic healthcare to patients staying in a hospital or other medical facility. They’ll keep the patients’ rooms clean, sanitized and orderly each day. Patient Care Technicians will regularly visit patients to monitor their health and vital signs, administer medications prescribed by Nurses or Physicians, provide emotional support before and after treatments and assist patients in completing basic tasks like eating, using the restroom or grooming themselves. 

They’ll typically assist Physicians or Nurses during treatments and will explain treatment methods and prescribed medications to the patient and their family. If the Patient Care Technician notices any changes in the patient’s health after the treatment, they’ll notify the Physician or Nurse.

Patient Care Technician salary expectations

A Patient Care Technician makes an average of $15.08 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Patient Care Technicians provide basic healthcare to patients staying in a hospital or other medical facility. They’ll keep the patients’ rooms clean, sanitized and orderly each day. Patient Care Technicians will regularly visit patients to monitor their health and vital signs, administer medications prescribed by Nurses or Physicians, provide emotional support before and after treatments and assist patients in completing basic tasks like eating, using the restroom or grooming themselves. 

They’ll typically assist Physicians or Nurses during treatments and will explain treatment methods and prescribed medications to the patient and their family. If the Patient Care Technician notices any changes in the patient’s health after the treatment, they’ll notify the Physician or Nurse.

Patient Care Technician education and training requirements

To become a Patient Care Technician, a person has to complete a state-approved education program where they learn the basics of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs can be found from as early as high school and in vocational schools and community colleges. 

Students also have to pass a state exam, which allows them to use titles within the state. Some states require a background check or need further credentials. Patient Care Technicians usually receive on-the-job training by their employer and learn their specific policies.

Patient Care Technician experience requirements

Patient Care Technicians gain experience through educational programs and during formal employment. The Patient Care Technician programs have real-world training since healthcare positions work with people on a daily basis. They usually work under the supervision of registered nurses and other licensed nurses. 

Experience is not a necessary requirement as Patient Care Technicians are entry-level jobs. Patient Care Technicians can advance to become a registered nurse, which requires more coursework, work experience and passing examinations.

What does a Patient Care Technician do?

Patient Care Technicians provide basic healthcare to patients staying in a hospital or other medical facility. They’ll keep the patients’ rooms clean, sanitized and orderly each day. Patient Care Technicians will regularly visit patients to monitor their health and vital signs, administer medications prescribed by Nurses or Physicians, provide emotional support before and after treatments and assist patients in completing basic tasks like eating, using the restroom or grooming themselves. 

They’ll typically assist Physicians or Nurses during treatments and will explain treatment methods and prescribed medications to the patient and their family. If the Patient Care Technician notices any changes in the patient’s health after the treatment, they’ll notify the Physician or Nurse.

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Frequently asked questions about Patient Care Technicians

 

Who does a Patient Care Technician report to?

Patient Care Technicians typically report to higher-level medical care employees, like Nurses or Physicians. These employees will provide the Patient Care Technician with their daily tasks and patient assignments. 

Patient Care Technicians will work closely with Nurses and Physicians to review a patient’s treatment plan and will receive guidance on how to properly administer these treatments to patients on their own. They’ll continue to monitor patients’ progress and will report this to Physicians or Nurses, who will provide the Patient Care Technicians with direction on how to adjust these treatments accordingly. 

 

What settings do Patient Care Technicians typically work in?

There are a wide variety of environments Patient Care Technicians may work in. Most of them serve in a hospital settings, providing immediate or ongoing care to patients undergoing surgical and holistic medical treatments. Others may work in nursing care facilities assisting elderly patients in completing everyday tasks and administering basic healthcare. 

Some Patient Care Technicians may operate in assisted care facilities, helping patients with disabilities or ongoing illnesses function before and after treatments. There are also some Patient Care Technicians who may visit patients in their homes to administer treatments and provide assistance in other activities patients need support in. 

 

What's the difference between a Patient Care Technician and a Medical Assistant?

Though they both complete similar administrative and basic care duties for patients, there are some differences between Patient Care Technicians and Medical Assistants when it comes to their work settings. Patient Care Technicians usually operate in environments like hospitals or assisted living facilities, where they’ll provide ongoing care to long-term patients to help them return to stable health conditions. 

Medical Assistants usually work in emergency rooms or clinics, offering basic care to short-term patients. They’ll review a patient’s vital signs and will usually check patients in and out of appointments. Medical Assistants often see new patients each day, while Patient Care Technicians typically provide ongoing care to the same patients every day. 

 

What makes a good Patient Care Technician?

A great Patient Care Technician should be empathetic and have great communication and interpersonal skills to listen to patients’ needs and provide them with emotional support. They should also use these communication skills to explain treatment and medication plans to patients and their families. Ideal Patient Care Technicians are also in good shape and have strong physical stamina to stay on their feet all day and to lift and move patients when needed. 

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