Patient Care Technicians are on the front lines of health care—working in hospitals and large patient care facilities to assist doctors and nurses with patient care, monitor EKGs, take vital signs, collect lab specimens, and help patients with basic tasks and hygiene. While these technical skills are critical, at Helms College, we know student success in this program takes more than just academics. Here are five ways you can develop good habits now that will help you thrive in the classroom and out in the workforce.
Get a daily planner and use it: spend a few minutes at the start of each week writing down and prioritizing tasks; make daily, weekly and monthly goals for your personal, academic and professional life and revisit them often to keep track of your progress. Gather books and supplies the night before class so you’re not scrambling to find things the day of. And keep in touch with your academic advisor at Helms to make sure you’re staying on track with requirements for graduation.
Ever hear the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? Your future patients need you at your best—so train yourself in good self-care now. Start by developing a consistent sleep schedule, staying hydrated, and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and other nutrients to help you feel great. Take breaks when your body needs them, and make exercise a priority even when you’re busy with classes.
Develop Those “Soft Skills.”
As a patient care technician, you’ll need to know more than just how to take blood pressure. You’ll work with people from all walks of life, each with specialized needs and considerations. It takes a positive outlook to manage the stress and complications you’ll experience in a healthcare setting. Approach your work with empathy, compassion, and plenty of patience to put your clients at ease.
Professors at Helms are subject matter experts with experience practicing in the professional world. They are here to mentor you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarify things you don’t understand. Keep a notebook close by during hands-on and lab training, observe your supervisors and fellow students carefully, and write down questions to ask later. The Helms College Academic Achievement Center is another resource with staff and trained volunteers who work to help you achieve your educational and career advancement goals.
Stay in touch with your peers from classes and the professors whose real-world experience can prepare you for life after graduation. If you have a friend or family member already in the healthcare industry, give them a call and ask them for advice, or to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities that might be right for you. And join the Helms Alumni Association to socialize with other Helms graduates, participate in volunteer opportunities, or take advantage of the Job Connection and Career Services for local and regional employment leads.
Your future as a healthcare professional starts here! Enroll in Helms College’s Patient Care