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A patient services technician, or patient care technician (PCT), provides support to doctors, nurses and other medical personnel by providing basic medical care and services to patients. PCTs work in a variety of medical settings. They may work in assisted living centers, hospitals, health clinics or help provide in-home health care. Patient services technicians are required to have enrolled in a program in basic patient care procedures. This course can be taken at a community college or through specialized courses with private companies. Upon successful completion of this program, a patient services technician must take a state examination to receive her certification to work in a medical facility.
Medical facilities must always be clean and sterile. While there are housekeeping departments to perform general cleaning duties, the patient services technician will assist by cleaning medical equipment such as IV stands or instruments such as stethoscopes or blood pressure cuffs, as well as clean the areas directly surrounding the patient. In addition to the cleaning of instruments and equipment, it is generally the job of the patient services technician to help the patient with personal cleaning needs such as hair washing, bathing and shaving.
Patient services technicians often spend more time communicating with the patient then any other medical staff. In a doctor's office or outpatient center, the patient services technician is likely to be the person who greets the patient and gets him ready to see the doctor or nurse. During a hospital stay, the patient services technician checks on the patient frequently and must communicate what's going on to him as well as field any questions he might have. Though the patient services technician may not have all the answers, she will often be the one asked the questions and must then communicate with other hospital staff to help the patient receive the information he is looking for.
Basic Care and Procedures
Nurses and doctors are often overloaded with responsibilities. In an effort to support their work load, patient service technicians are responsible for taking care of basic medical needs and tasks such as checking and documenting a patient's vital signs, updating charts and assisting patients with eating, bathing and bathroom needs. The patient services technician may prepare the patient to be transported to another part of the facility for a procedure or test and will help that same patient get comfortable once she has returned to her room.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.