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Become A Patient Care Technician

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Working As A Patient Care Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $79,579

    Average Salary

What Does A Patient Care Technician Do

Psychiatric technicians and aides care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Technicians typically provide therapeutic care and monitor their patients’ conditions. Aides help patients in their daily activities and ensure a safe, clean environment.

Duties

Psychiatric technicians, sometimes called mental health technicians, typically do the following:

  • Observe patients’ behavior, listen to their concerns, and record their condition
  • Lead patients in therapeutic and recreational activities
  • Give medications and other treatments to patients, following instructions from doctors and other medical professionals
  • Help with admitting and discharging patients
  • Monitor patients’ vital signs, such as their blood pressure
  • Help patients with activities of daily living, including eating and bathing
  • Restrain patients who may become physically violent

Psychiatric aides typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ behavior and location in a mental healthcare facility
  • Help patients with their daily living activities, such as bathing and dressing
  • Serve meals and help patients eat
  • Keep facilities clean by doing tasks such as changing bedlinens
  • Participate in group activities, such as playing sports and going on field trips
  • Help transport patients within a hospital or residential care facility
  • Restrain patients who may become physically violent

Many psychiatric technicians and aides work with patients who are severely developmentally disabled and need intensive care. Others work with patients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. The work of psychiatric technicians and aides varies with the types of patients they work with.

Psychiatric technicians and aides work as part of a medical team under the direction of physicians and with other team members, who may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, counselors, and therapists. For more information on the counselors and therapists they may work with, see the profiles on substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists.

Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric technicians and aides can have a great deal of influence on patients’ outlook and treatment.

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How To Become A Patient Care Technician

Psychiatric technicians typically need postsecondary education, and aides need at least a high school diploma. Both technicians and aides get on-the-job training.

Education

Psychiatric technicians typically have a postsecondary certificate. Often, they have experience as a nursing assistant or a licensed practical nurse and have completed postsecondary education in nursing.

Some psychiatric technicians also may have a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree in psychiatric or mental health technology. These programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools and include courses in biology, psychology, and counseling. Psychiatric technician programs may include supervised work experience or cooperative programs, in which students gain academic credit for structured work experience.

Psychiatric aides typically need a high school diploma.

Training

Psychiatric technicians and aides usually have a short period of on-the-job training before they can work without direct supervision.

Training may include working with patients while under the close supervision of an experienced technician or aide. Technicians and aides also may attend workshops, lectures, or inservice training.

Work Experience

Psychiatric technicians typically need clinical experience, which can be gained by working in occupations such as nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Because psychiatric technicians and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients, they should be caring and want to help people.

Interpersonal skills. Psychiatric technicians and aides often provide ongoing care for patients, so they should be able to develop a rapport with them. Gaining such rapport makes psychiatric technicians and aides better able to treat their patients and evaluate their condition.

Observational skills. Technicians must watch patients closely and be sensitive to any changes in behavior. For their safety and that of their patients, they must recognize signs of discomfort or trouble among patients.

Patience. Working with the mentally ill can be emotionally challenging. Psychiatric technicians and aides must be able to stay calm in stressful situations.

Physical stamina. Psychiatric technicians and aides must be able to lift, move, and sometimes restrain patients. They must also be able to spend much of their time on their feet.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states do not license psychiatric technicians. California is one of the larger states that does. For those states which license them, technicians usually are required to complete an accredited education program, pass an exam, and pay a fee to be licensed.

Psychiatric aides are not required to be licensed.

The American Association of Psychiatric Technicians offers four levels of certification for psychiatric technicians. The certifications allow technicians to show a high level of professional competency. Requirements vary by certification.

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Patient Care Technician Jobs

Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician":Pt 2 How to handle being new in dialysis as a technician?"

Florida Career College - Patient Care Technician

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Patient Care Technician Career Paths

Patient Care Technician
Unit Secretary Staffing Coordinator Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Case Manager Admissions Coordinator
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Specialist Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurse/Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Home Health Aid Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Instructor Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Cardiac Technician 3.8 years
Monitor Technician 3.1 years
Health Technician 2.7 years
Nurse Technician 2.2 years
Care Associate 2.2 years
Care Partner 2.0 years
Patient Escort 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Patient Care Technician
Cashier 8.2%
Internship 2.5%
Teller 2.2%
Server 2.1%
Volunteer 2.0%
Technician 1.8%
Top Careers After Patient Care Technician
Cashier 3.0%
Technician 2.3%
Nurse 1.9%
Internship 1.9%

Do you work as a Patient Care Technician?

Patient Care Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

80.1%

Male

17.8%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

13.7%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.0%

French

9.7%

Arabic

2.5%

Hindi

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

German

2.0%

Mandarin

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Chinese

1.3%

Russian

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Gujarati

0.8%

Filipino

0.8%

Swahili

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%
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Patient Care Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Trident Technical College

8.0%

Grand Canyon University

6.6%

Community College of Allegheny County

6.4%

Anne Arundel Community College

5.8%

Kaplan University

4.9%

Pima Community College

4.8%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

4.3%

Ashford University

4.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

4.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.8%

Walden University

3.8%

Everest Institute

3.8%

Sinclair Community College

3.6%

Monroe Community College

3.6%

South University

3.5%

Liberty University

3.4%

Greenville Technical College

3.4%

Saint Petersburg College

3.4%

Dutchess Community College

3.0%
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Majors

Nursing

38.4%

Medical Assisting Services

11.0%

Nursing Assistants

9.1%

Business

6.6%

Health Care Administration

5.8%

Medical Technician

4.8%

Psychology

3.3%

Biology

2.7%

General Studies

2.6%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.3%

Mental Health Counseling

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Health Sciences And Services

1.4%

Education

1.2%

Management

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Human Services

1.2%

Social Work

1.1%

Physician Assistant

1.1%

Pharmacy

1.0%
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Degrees

Other

35.8%

Bachelors

23.0%

Associate

18.5%

Certificate

8.8%

Masters

7.7%

Diploma

4.1%

License

1.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Patient Care Technician Videos

Patient Care Technician Jobs

Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician":Pt 2 How to handle being new in dialysis as a technician?"

Florida Career College - Patient Care Technician

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Top Skills for A Patient Care Technician

  1. Blood Pressure
  2. Dialysis Treatment
  3. EKG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilized various software programs to monitor patient vitals such as blood pressure, note patient information, and schedule appointments.
  • Conducted all tasks necessary for preparation for dialysis treatment and documented where appropriate.
  • Provide basic patient care, acquire and document vital signs, intake and outputs, EKG's.
  • Assisted the elderly with administering prescription medication and with independent living skills.
  • Perform patient phlebotomy following department and facility policies and procedures.

How Would You Rate Working As a Patient Care Technician?

Are you working as a Patient Care Technician? Help us rate Patient Care Technician as a Career.

Top Patient Care Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Patient Care Technician Employers

Patient Care Technician Videos

Patient Care Technician Jobs

Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician":Pt 2 How to handle being new in dialysis as a technician?"

Florida Career College - Patient Care Technician

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