The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) believes that the next decade will show tremendous growth in healthcare, so training to become a patient care technician offers a terrific opportunity for secure employment and career growth. The program provides students with the education required to enter the healthcare profession in a variety of environments like medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.

In an age where baby boomers are at or approaching retirement age, the need for patient care technicians in retirement facilities, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities is significant. Graduates may also choose to work in one of several specialty environments such as rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and hospice care facilities.

What You’ll Learn as a Patient Care Technician

The classes required to become a patient care technician are medical and healthcare in nature and include education on anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. In addition, students are taught about various ethical and legal issues that may impact healthcare facilities. Students must know and understand the basic anatomical features of the body, as well as be knowledgeable on all of the complex terms and definitions associated with the medical world.

Working with Medical Equipment

A successful patient care technician must work well with patients who require medical care and must also be able to operate standard medical equipment used by healthcare workers in support positions. For example, students must learn how to read the results of devices like EKG equipment and other diagnostic equipment.

Practical Application of Skills

Skilled patient care technicians need to know how to use and dispose of needles, waste, and sharp implements. Instruction on phlebotomy and infection control will cover these topics as well as offer education on the circulatory system and the medical terminology that accompanies the work of a phlebotomist.

The Business Side of Healthcare

Patient care technicians must possess a comprehensive skill set and must not only be aware of medical terminology and methods, but must also understand how the business of healthcare works. This means taking classes on clerical or administrative duties like taking patient histories, performing diagnostic tests, and speaking with patients about procedures and medical issues. Students must also understand how to handle confidential electronic health records and access the computer systems that house these records.

Experience in the Field

One of the most important facets of becoming a patient care technician is the certification exam and work in an actual clinical setting. Before graduation, a student will need to provide evidence of skills learned through an important Patient Care Technician Certification exam and also complete 160 hours working in a healthcare setting.

Students who complete this program of study will be well prepared for a career in a growing industry that offers tremendous potential for career advancement in healthcare.