goodwill industries campus

Becoming a Patient Care Technician: What You Need to Know

Do you have an interest in improving the lives of hospital and nursing home residents? Want to work in a flexible, growing health care field? Consider the Patient Care Technician program at Helms College.

What Do Patient Care Technicians Do?

Patient care technicians work under supervision of doctors and nurses to help patients eat and bathe, measure vital signs, listen to health concerns and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they often serve as primary caregivers, spending months and even years in nursing homes and long term care facilities—giving them the opportunity to know residents on a much more personal level than other staff members. Their compassionate care, excellent communication skills, and physical strength are key to making a positive difference in their patients’ lives.

Primary Responsibilities Include:[1]

  • Cleaning and bathing patients or residents
  • Helping patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turning, repositioning, and transferring patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listening to and recording patients’ health concerns and reporting that information to nurses
  • Measuring patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serving meals and helping patients eat

Duties will always vary based on patient needs.

How Does the Job Market for Patient Care Technicians Look?

The employment outlook for patient care technicians is excellent—with more than 1.6 million people holding jobs in the field in 2016.[2] As the baby boom generation ages, the health care industry will continue to expand, and employment for patient care technicians is expected to increase by 11% by 2026 (faster than average for all career paths).[3] Median pay for the position in 2017 was $13.23 per hour.[4]

Helms graduates can use their skills in a variety of health care settings and are prepared for entry level positions in:

  • Physician and dental offices
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Behavioral health facilities
  • Community health centers
  • Medical insurance companies
  • Public health departments
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Laboratory departments

Why Choose Helms?

Helms combines classroom learning with laboratory work and on-the-job experience to help you gain the confidence you need to properly care for patients in any health care setting. The 43.5 credit hour Patient Care Technician program includes courses in the fundamentals of nursing, clinical procedures, phlebotomy, nutrition and more.  Our dedicated faculty have a wealth of industry experience, and our Job Connections career services will help you develop a strong resume for job searches. Helms College PCT’s are trained in phlebotomy and EKG, skills that are highly desirable in healthcare settings.

From the first day of class to the first day at work, Helms students gain the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities they need to be competitive in the careers they want. If you’re ready to get started in your health care career, Helms College can help you achieve your goal. Contact us for more information or to apply today.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-2

[2] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-3

[3] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-1

[4] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-1

A Nurse with a degree in healthcare taking care of a patient