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Untangling Patient Care Technician Responsibilities: Clearing the Confusion




Patient care technicians (PCTs) are an essential part of the healthcare landscape – even in this fast-paced environment, PCT jobs help patients get better and feel more comfortable. That said, patient care technician responsibilities are sometimes understood as something else or mistaken for other healthcare working peers. This article will attempt to slice through some of the ambiguity regarding PCT duties for both future technicians and those looking to gain a bit more insight into what exactly it entails.

Direct Patient Care

Central to the job of a patient care technician is providing basic direct care. This includes helping individuals with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and eating. Patients are also provided with aids for mobility, positioning, and chair-bed transferring to ensure comfort and well-being.

Vital Signs Monitoring

A major task that the PCTs have to do is monitor the vital signs of patients regularly. This means tracking and monitoring metrics such as blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate and respiratory rate. Recording these essential signs at the time of service is a necessary record to stay on top of our patient’s health status and decline if it occurs.

Help with Medical Procedures

PCT’s assist healthcare professionals in other medical procedures. Responsibilities could range from equipment set-up to patient preparation, and then procedural support (wound care, or catheterization and specimen collection). PCTs need to adhere strictly to protocols and ensure patient safety with proper infection control practices.

Basic Nursing Skills

PCTs may not perform more advanced nursing tasks but are still trained to carry out several basic nursing skills under the supervision or direction of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/vocational nurses.


Those skills may be administering medications, dressing changes, and basic First Aid. PCTs must be competent in these aspects, and ask for help if needed.

Patient Advocacy and Support

Caring for patients extends beyond their clinical duties, as patient care technicians act as advocates on behalf of patients making sure the healthcare team knows what a patient wants/needs. Additionally, PCTs will often provide emotional support to patients and address any questions or concerns that the patient may have. When trust and rapport are high, it makes for a good care environment.

Housekeeping and Organization

PCTs are required to keep patient areas clean and organized. This could mean cleaning patient rooms, sterilizing equipment, and replenishing supplies like linens or toiletries. Hygiene infection control and patient comfort is key to cleanliness in the working environment

Communication and Collaboration

Patient care technicians require the skills of communicative collaboration to excel. PCTs need to be clear and concise with communication tools to our patients, families/other members of the healthcare team.


They act as intermediaries between patients and other healthcare providers, sharing imperative data back among them to assure continuity of service.

Ongoing Education and Development

Patient care technicians must keep learning, as healthcare continues to change. PCTs are encouraged to pursue continuing education and professional development opportunities to remain current in patient care. This may include getting involved in workshops, obtaining certifications, or going for higher studies offered in the medical field.

PCT’s have a unique role in the healthcare environment with many components, all intended to deliver excellent bedside care and also perform various patient support duties.

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