As a Patient Care Technician (PCT), you can expect a rewarding and fast paced environment where you’ll get a lot of one-on-one time with patients. Many PCTs get to know the patients coming in for treatment on a personal basis and develop a good working relationship with them.
So what’s a general day look like? Before a PCT receives a patient into the treatment area, s/he will disinfect the dialysis machine and clear any trash from the area. When the area is ready, the PCT will receive the patient, weigh him/her and check vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure. This is logged into the patient’s chart. The PCT will also ask questions about the patient’s health and whether or not they experienced any problems after their last dialysis session.
This will also be noted in the patient’s file and any concerns will be brought to the attention of a nephrology nurse. The PCT will then program the dialysis machine to the patient’s settings, assess and prepare the vascular access and connect the dialysis tubing to the access. The PCT will also look at the access to make sure it is in good working order.
A dialysis treatment can take several hours. The PCT will monitor the patient and check vital signs every half hour as well as monitor the dialysis machine for the entire treatment time. A PCT may monitor up to 4 patients at any given time. After the patient is done dialyzing, the PCT will take the patient off the machine and weigh them again. They will also send the patient’s dialyzer to the reuse technicians for cleaning and disinfection, if the patient is on reuse. The PCT will then prepare the area for the next patient.