The patient care technician job classification represents a diverse group of unlicensed medical personnel who work in both general and specialty departments within most healthcare organizations. People who have chosen to pursue this career path are typically responsible for providing a number of services that do not require advanced medical knowledge. Over the past few years, demand for technicians has risen significantly due to the influx of patients stemming from the expansion of healthcare reform, the aging Baby Boomer generation, and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. These trends have made the patient care technician career field a very popular option for those who want to improve the lives of others without needing a college degree or extensive training.
There are many employment options available to a technician working in the healthcare sector including things like medical assistant, nurses aide, EKG technician, dialysis technician, surgical technician, and much more. The amount of education and training required to work in these departments depends on the expectations of the employer and the complexity of the services being offered. While most people working in this profession are not required to become licensed by state or federal organizations, they may need to complete some level of training and certification before being allowed to offer direct care to patients. It is recommend that aspiring technicians contact employers in their area directly to find out more about the requirements associated with specific job openings.
In most cases, individuals will be able to take advantage of either an in-house training program that has been developed by the employer or an independent certificate program administered through a local educational institution such as a community college. While there are several independent programs that are available, it is very important to contact potential employers to make sure the credentials that will be acquired have been approved as a legitimate indication of competency. Facilities that offer their own programs typically prefer that new employees complete their training within the organization that has hired them. Learning about individual employer expectations before enrolling in a program can save a substantial amount of time and effort in the career advancement process.
One of the best ways to assess the legitimacy of a particular educational program is to check with well-respected accrediting agencies that operate nationally. A few of the best known agencies include the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE), Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. An individual who is planning on pursuing patient care technician training in order to compete for a position in a specialty department may need to perform some additional research to find out which organization is responsible for accrediting programs within the specialty.
A career as a patient care technician is one of the fastest growing and most rewarding options for those who have an interest in providing entry-level care. Those who have determined that they have the traits required to become successful in a fast-paced medical setting are encouraged to learn more about the training opportunities in their area by contacting employers and independent educational institutions. In addition, it is a good idea to become actively involved in local and state organizations. In general, there are many influential individuals from the industry who participate in these types of organizations and who are willing to provide valuable insight and advice as an new technician attempts to advance their career in the medical field.