Does anyone recommend working as a patient care technician?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi i just got offered a job as a patient care technician at an area hospital while in nursing school. any of you work as a patient care techician? I am interested in getting any feedback about the job and finding out if ya'll like doing it. Thanks,Amanda


42 Posts

Definitely think about taking advantage of this opportunity. You will get a ton of hands on experience with patients and get good chances to learn while at work. If the staff knows you're a student they'll most likely explain a lot of what is going on and let you observe different procedures. You will get really good at skills such as bathing, ambulating, etc, - these are these are basic nursing skills that you will still be doing when you're a nurse. You can take assessment skills and other ideas you're learning in school and think about how you would apply them to patients you see while at work. It's also a great way to network- there were quite a few people I graduated with that stayed on as nurses where they worked as techs while in school.

While ther are many positive things about working as a tech while in school- it can be a very hard job- I was lucky- there were a few nurses who graduated from my nursing program where I worked and they were helpful and made it a learning experience. It may not always be like this- if you know of anyone else who works there ask how the techs and aids are treated- and talk with the manager to find out exactly what your duties and responsibilities will be- Good luck!

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,512 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I recommend it. It will help you get used to the real world of nursing managing patient loads, and the basics. Plus you will see a lot of things you wouldn't ordinarily see in nursing school.

passing thru

655 Posts

Plus you will learn the lingo.


160 Posts

I agree w/ the above ~ it can be a great learning experience :)


558 Posts

I say go for it. I went in completely blind and see how being familiar would have been an asset. Luckily I started out in an LTC facility that was extemely short so I often got called into work as an aid. Sounds dumb to say the short staffing was a good thing as it really isnt but it did give me an opportunity to learn alot about prioritizing and a healthy dose of reality. Good luck in all you do.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I worked as a CNA in the hospital where I now work as an RN. I was going through nursing school at the time, and the nurses all took me under their wings---I'd be walking down the hall, and somebody would grab me and say, "Hey Marla, come listen to this bruit" or "You wanna help me put down an NG tube?". They also taught me lots of time-management techniques and other invaluable things, and as a result I think I was better prepared than most for the actual RN role. It was still kind of a shocker, especially when my orientation lasted only six weeks instead of three to six months because of my CNA experience---I was taking full teams within three weeks, and precepting new grads within two months!---but it did help, even though the roles are very, very different.

Working as a patient care tech/CNA is very much worth one's while, particularly when one plans to go on to a higher level such as LPN or RN.


14 Posts

I would definitely recommend working as a PCT. I had absolutely no hospital experience going into nursing school and took a job as a float pool PCT. It helped me to learn some of the basics, such as bed baths, turning pts, emptying various types of drains, and most important of all, it helped me to feel comfortable around the patients. It also gives you an appreciation of how hard some of the PCT's have to work and knowing that it is never "beneath you" to have to go back to doing some of the basics when you're an RN. :)

nurse2be in ny

332 Posts

One of the best things I ever did was take a job as a psychiatric tech. I learned so much. I'd highly recommend taking the PCT job.


47 Posts

i recommend taking the job if you can handle the hours along with going to school. At our area training hospital, one of the best in the country, the PCT's are taught not only basic skills but also to draw blood (they get certified to be used in a pinch), assessment skills, some have even learned how to cath patients and alot more. True some it goes beyond the scope of their job description but they are taught by the staff nurses so they can assist if necessary although they are never allowed to do it alone. The experience and training is invaluable and you will truly reap the benefits as you go through nursing school and afterwards. Many nurses graduate without knowing much of this stuff and have to learn on the job. I wish you much luck!


814 Posts

I love working with a tech. Sometimes we get one for a couple hours when we are really insanely busy. It is so much fun to teach someone a technique or help them practice one that they have recently learned. I would definately jump at the opportunity. I think you will find the staff to be very helpful and learn so much. Good luck.


30 Posts


Take it while you have the offer!

I have been chasing down a nurse recruiter for the past month in attempt to get a tech position at a hospital here in Buffalo, NY. My fiance is finishing his clinicals this year as a PA. He was a tech a few years ago, he says it helped him in learning the system of responsiblities in the field of patient care. Great step in the right direction! Plus, it pads your resume with experience when your trying to start your career as a RN.

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