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Patient care technicians needed during the pandemic

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 08:54:26-05

The CEO of Memorial said a patient care technician's assistance to nurses in administrative, logistical and tactical support make them vital recruits on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“With the increase in volume that we’ve seen as a result of COVID that we’ve seen in other things, we need some help,” Ken Keller, CEO of Memorial Hospital said.

Keller said they need more than a dozen patient care technicians right now.

“A patient care tech is a support member of the care team that intersects and cares for our patients on a daily basis, providing some of the ancillary and support activities to the nurse,” Keller said.

Such activities include documentation support, activities of daily living for patients and taking temperatures and blood pressures. On top of that, Keller said, a patient care tech needs to come with an outgoing personality, be a team player and be compassionate.

“One of the things we talk about is delivering human kindness, so having that compassion, that skillset is going to be very important as well,” Keller said.

Patient care technicians are not required to go to medical or nursing school. Keller said they do need to be trained at vocational-technical school for as little as 12-16 weeks to a year. and after they are hired, they require 2-4 week of on-the-floor training with the hospital.

“We are a large institution, and employ about 2300 people. So there’s opportunities to grow at Dignity health and specifically within Bakersfield at Memorial hospital and Mercy,” Keller said.

Keller added that a patient care tech is an entryway into other care provider positions such as respiratory therapy or imaging technology.

The average salary for a patient care technician in Bakersfield is 13 dollars an hour, according to Glassdoor.

According to Keller, hospitals need various members of a patient care team right now, including patient care techs, nurses, respiratory techs, certified nurse assistants, and care providers within procedural areas.

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