Patient Care Technician job duties

Nurses General Nursing


  • by gtmoore
    Specializes in Critical Care, Quality Imp, Education.

I'm developing competencies for our PCTs. PCTs are pretty much the same as CNAs or PCAs except, at our facility, they can do more advanced skills. These skills include IVs, phlebotomy, & inserting Foley's. I'm OK with them doing these skills.

Some of the current items on their competencies indicate they can perform endotracheal, tracheal, nasotracheal, & nasopharangeal suctioning and trach care. I personally do not feel comfortble with them performing these tasks as it is something that is done so infrequently on most units.

Can PCTs (or whatever they're called at your facility) do the suctioning/trach care items listed above at your facility? What is your opinion on whether they should be able to do them?



517 Posts

Not where I work and I don't think they should. Too much to go wrong too fast to entrust someone's airway to an unlicensed person.


41 Posts

A License does qualify you to say yes I have learned these skills but it does not not make you good at what you do. Where I work They do this and let me tell you Im In Critical care and many of the Techs know more and perform more commen sense wise than some RN's. I have had patients tell me this many times. I think they should be closely monitored but many times a patient will asked to be suctioned and the Nurse never gets around to it and they Patient is highly ******, so i think it's good that a well trained Tech can perform these duties.


517 Posts

I'm not disagreeing with you that there are batty nurses out there or nurses who don't always care for their patients in a timely manner because there certainly are!

Having a license doesn't make them better it simply holds them accountable. In my opinion, an airway is too important to delegate to someone who won't be held responsible for what may go wrong. You don't have a license to lose as a tech but the nurse who delegated responsibility for someone's airway to you does.


977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

I will have to agree with the others that allowing them to do anything oral should not be allowed. I could understand Yankauer suctioning as long as they are aware of when to stop! IV's I would even have to say may step a tad over the line. Yes I can train a child to insert one, but do they understand the risks (or even have the mentality) to judge between right and wrong on placing an IV doing blood draws on someone who just recently udnerwent a breast mastectomy or has a fistula (new or old)? Maybe, and then again...maybe not.

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