The state of Florida is one of the top preferred places for seniors to retire. Unfortunately, more healthcare is oftentimes needed for senior citizens in regards to annual checkups and general healthcare maintenance. What that means for the healthcare profession in Florida is the need for more employees, particularly Patient Care Technicians. While there is certainly a need for medical specialists in the industry, when it comes to caring for patients, Patient Care Technicians are highly sought after.
The Role of a Patient Care Technician
Referred to as Nursing Assistants, Nurses Aides, and Orderlies, Patient Care Technicians provide the basic care for patients to help them live life on a daily basis. Not very many people think about how a patient needs to cope with his or her life after major surgical procedures or even as they age.
Physicians, surgeons, and RNAs are primarily concerned with what they specialize in as well as immediate life threatening, health-related situations and preventative care. Yet, when it comes to the day-to-day care of helping patients live a normal life, professional assistance is needed. This is where the knowledge and skills of a Patient Care Technician comes in. Whereas, the specific role of an Orderly may involve taking care of things that are directly related to the patients’ well-being.
What are the Duties of a Patient Care Technician?
Patient Care Technicians (PCT) are responsible for cleaning and bathing patients, assisting them with going to the restroom, dressing them, and repositioning them while they’re on bed rest or in wheelchairs to prevent bed sores. They’re also responsible for transitioning them from the bed to the wheel chair or assisting them with wherever they need to go whether it’s from one room to another or by means of transportation.
Additionally, PCTs are trained to take vital signs, measure blood pressure, take temperature and ensure that patients are taking the proper dose of medications. They also see to it that they are properly fed a decent diet and if necessary, spoon-feed them if they cannot feed themselves.
Where Do Patient Care Technicians Work?
You can find PCTs in hospitals, nursing homes, and even in homes. Approximately 40% work in nursing care facilities according to The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-six percent work in local, state, and private hospitals. The rest work in home healthcare or in government agencies. For Orderlies, approximately 75% of these positions can be found in hospitals while the remaining percentage might work in nursing care facilities, ambulatory healthcare services, government and retirement care communities.
In some cases, the role of a PCT and Orderly may merge. This usually depends on the type of facility a PCT works in. The smaller the facility, the more likely it is that he or she will take on the role of both a PCT and Orderly.
Why Florida Needs More PCTs?
The BLS reports that the state of Florida is the third-most highly employed area for Nursing Assistants. According to the BLS May 2016 report, Florida employs 90,890 Nursing Assistants. New York comes in second at 98,040, and California is first with 99,140. The job outlook is promising with an expected growth of 11% by the year 2026. That equates to 1,732,800 for both Nursing Assistants and Orderlies.
What is the Job Outlook for PCTs?
If your end-goal is to earn a huge salary, then you’ll need to understand that future cuts to programs like Medicare and Medicaid could have a negative effect on the funding. Students who are looking to work as a PCT in government-funded facilities might want to rethink their goals if a high salary is the name of the game. Such cuts could result in fewer job openings in this particular industry. Also, the demand for federal and state funding toward home and community care centers is increasing. So as you can see, there is a slow shift in where you might find job opportunities as PCT.
Florida National University (FNU) makes it our responsibility to keep up with the latest trends in the healthcare industry. As a regionally accredited university, it is our duty to
prepare you to take the Certified Patient Care Technician /Assistant Exam and to help you become one of the best job candidates there is for a PCT position.
FNU PCT Courses are Taught Bilingually
If you have aspirations to work as a PCT in the South Florida area, having a general understanding of both the Spanish and English language will be most helpful on your resume. As a PCT, you will be treating patients who may only be able to speak Spanish or English. As a healthcare provider, enrolling in FNU’s PCT certificate program will be most helpful.
FNU also has a financial aid department to help you find the right kind of assistance to pay for your education. To get the enrollment process started, contact one of our advisors today!