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Patient Care Technician Duties

by Shailynn Krow, studioD

A patient care technician, also referred to as a nursing assistant, provides patients with basic care and assistance. Whether at a hospital or assisted living center, a patient care technician provides a valuable level of support. When hiring a patient care technician, look for a candidate who exhibits a level of compassion and friendliness, because she is likely to have more patient contact than other care professionals in your facility.

Basic Caregiving

A patient care technician may operate as a patient’s primary caregiver, especially if your establishment is a nursing home. She may bathe patients, assist them in using the toilet, and help them dress and groom. She assists patients in and out of beds, and helps them walk, or pushes them in wheelchairs, if necessary. If your facility doesn’t have orderlies or housekeeping services, patient technicians may take on the duty of making beds and cleaning living quarters.

Monitoring and Observing

A patient care technician can monitor patients’ basic vital signs, including temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respiration rates. She records all vital signs in the patients physical or electronic chart, along with any patient concerns or complaints that the physician may want to review. During care, she observes a patient’s physical, emotional and mental condition, and reports any concerns directly to the attending physician.

Collaboration and Treatment Assistance

A patient care technician works directly with nursing staff and physicians in your facility. He assists physicians during examinations and treatments. He can set up and operate treatment equipment and supplies. He may be required to take notes during a patient evaluation, collect blood or other specimens, and operate electrocardiograms during treatment. Depending on the state where your facility is located, he may also be able to dispense medications to patients.


A postsecondary education and certificate is required to be a patient care technician. Coursework covers the basic care procedures and includes supervised clinical work. A patient care technician can obtain a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate through her state. She must meet specific postsecondary education requirements, pass a background check and complete continuing education to keep her certification. In addition, a patient care technician should be patient, speak clearly and be compassionate to effectively care for patients.

About the Author

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.

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