Patient Care Tech's Duties in a hospital ?

  1. Hey guys, well I am a nursing student looking into to taking a job has a Patient Care tech, phlebotomy and EKG certified. I wanted to know what exactly does a PCT do in the hospital and what are thier duties in a long term care facility ? Also what are the starting pay rate ? Would you pict unit secretary over PCT for experience ?
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    About KdnRN2B

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 55; Likes: 8


  3. by   WakeYourMindUp
    depends on the hospital and the unit...I'm not sure what the scope of practice is for PCT's in florida, you could check with the board of nursing. I'm a PCT house float in ohio (I work in all units of 2 hospitals in our network)-
    on med surg floors-
    PCT's can do vitals, bladder scans, draw blood, remove catheters, and any other STNA type duties.

    On our cardiac/step down units PCT's can do EKGs as well as all of the above.

    In ER we can technically do more, because a PCT can also be an ER tech in some hospitals (again depends on hospital policy). I mainly work in ER because I like being able to do Catheters, Blood draws, ekg's, assisting the resident physician with procedures (as an extra pair of hands for sewing up lacerations, I&D's, helping with vascular ultrasounds, fetal heart tones), splints, and other stuff. We usually have a tech on the code blue team as well...its never a good situation, but an excellent learning experience. You're there mainly for chest compressions and as a supply runner.

    Good luck, being a PCT will humble you quickly, and makes nursing school so much easier (you'll be way better prepared for clinicals and labs)
    Last edit by WakeYourMindUp on Aug 8, '08
  4. by   RNsRWe
    Like Josh said, it varies GREATLY, not just from State to State but between facilities as well. Our PCTs are not allowed to draw blood or remove catheters of any type. They are not to touch dressings. They cannot turn off an IV pump or disconnect an IV tubing to change a gown.

    However, the list of what they DO do takes a full typewritten page in our policy binder! Vitals, bedbaths, ambulating patients, assisting them with ADLs, feeding, fetching, and the like. They used to be able to do enemas once upon a time, but that is now a nursing duty. I understand some places will allow them to place foleys; it's a big no-no with us.

    Essentially, you can expect that no matter where you go, the basics of cleaning, turning, moving, feeding/watering a patient, helping with ADLs and getting to and from a bathroom will be on the list of duties.
  5. by   NewRN2008
    you will have to check with the unit/floor or whatever you call it where you are, you have to ask them what would be requirements. where i am, you are going to have to pick something and do it. most likely you are not gonna be able to do everything you are certified in. you wont be able to technically do an ekg job as a CNA. you have to work within the scope of practice. you may be able to get/have exposure to many many things, and may be able to DO many things with supervision if they feel you can. but you need to be careful not to overstep your boundaries, ya know? you will need to discuss what you plan on doing or want to do with your NM or DON.

    GL! internships are great, but rare i am finding out!
    -H- RN
  6. by   CNA_Timmy
    Where I work in Indiana, PCT/PCAs do all the tasks of a CNA in the hospital as they would in the nursing home (transfers, toileting, light room cleaning, making beds, etc). In the hospital I am also able to take CBGs, bladder scans, EKGs, phlebotomy (the hospital trained me, but the lab usually comes in and does it so I think I may have a total of 6 punctures outside of my training), we dc foleys, take vitals a million times a day (at least it seems that way), answer the call light, calc I&Os, ennemas, and so on. Seems like a lot, however it makes time fly by!
  7. by   ilstu99
    I agree with the other folks - it'll just depend on your facility, the unit, etc. Our techs don't do very much patient care. They might do the occasional feeding or rocking of a fussy feeder/grower, but that's about it. Because our unit it closed, though, and we don't have a unit secretary, they pick up a lot of duties that other hospital staff might do - like cleaning the specialized incubators, making lad draw kits, filing, stocking, answering phones, organizing the NICU diaries, etc.
  8. by   2bNurseNickStat
    It definitely depends on the unit and the hospital policy. I work on telemtry as a tech and have an assigned module every night and do the same thing that CNAs do (vitals, I/Os, answering lights, patient care). As a tech though, I am able to place IVs (requires classtime), do blood draws, insert and DC foleys, insert and DC NG tubes, perform EKGs, assist with rhythm interpretation for the nurses (though you must take a much more extensive course for this and be certified as a monitor tech as well).

    It is definitely beneficial to nursing students to work as techs, skillwise you really learn a lot.
  9. by   bamagt
    I work in an ER and we can do EKG's, phlebotomy, splints, transport... We aren't suppose to do foleys or IV's but they will let me sometimes. We are the go getter and chest compressor in codes. I'm also a secretary and a PCT is much better experience a secretary is just a freaking easy job in my ER.