She’s not afraid of the wait anymore, for she knows He will open doors beautiful and perfect in their time — Morgan Harper Nichols
It has been a couple of months since I got hired as a patient care tech (PCT). I’ve been out of clinical orientation for about 2 weeks now so the process was pretty long. So far, I can say that I’m really glad that I’m able to have this job. I thank God every day for this opportunity. I’ve been learning tons about patient care and the hierarchy of medicine. I’ve also been drinking way too much caffeine. Since I completed my orientation, I’ve been working nights. The biggest adjustment is getting used to waking up at dinner time 😭. Sometimes the days run together as I do work 12-hour shifts. I prefer night shifts over days because it’s much calmer. When it does get crazy, I’m not as overwhelmed as I was on the day shift.
I’ve been taking note of the things I like and dislike. For example, I don’t see myself going into emergency medicine. I feel that I’d want to establish some kind of relationship with my patients. As a tech, the tasks feel neverending. There were times when I didn’t feel efficient enough. The nurses thanking me for my help or letting me know that I am doing a good job motivates me to keep pushing. I’ve also been intentional about reflecting on this experience. Not only so I can improve my performance on the job, but also to make sure I have something to share during the medical school application process.
A quick rundown of my duties as a patient care tech
I aim to be as helpful to the nurses as possible, I mean that is why I’m there. If I feel like I’m “done” with my assigned tasks, I always ask the nurses if they need assistance with something. Keeping busy also makes the shift go by faster, it seems.
1900: shift starts– I like to print the patient list while the nurses get a report on their assigned patients
2000-2130: vitals and bedtime blood sugars
2130-2300: assist nurses with patient care tasks and fulfill patient requests–this usually consists of grabbing ice waters and Loona Dorne cookies 😭
0000-0100: depending on what unit I’m on, this hour can be super slow. If I’m in the ED, there’s usually always something I can help the nurses with if I’m still not working on vitals.
0100-0300: If it’s still quiet, I make sure my online training is up to date. I might be working on documentation at this time too. Once I’m done with documentation, I take my break.
0300-0400: Vitals (telemetry patients only)– this is my least favorite time of the shift because I have to wake patients up.
0400-0500: Documentation and whatever the nurses need help with–mostly patient care tasks (CHG baths and foley care)
0500-0600: Patient care tasks (CHG baths, foley care, etc.) and housekeeping tasks like changing linen bags.
0600-0700: Things are winding down as I wait for another tech to relieve me.
**This is not an exhaustive list as so much of my job can be unpredictable.***
I have a premed journal where I document my experiences and keep track of my clinical experience hours. When I was taking my CNA course, I watched the vlogs of other PCTs. While I’m thankful that they gave me a peek at what my life would be like, I don’t think I’ll have the time to do the same. Seriously, I don’t know how they did it. Sometimes the only time I’m able to sit and breathe is during my break. I say all that to say, I plan to continue to update the blog as much as possible so that you can get a sense of what this job is like.
As far as MCAT studying, I feel motivated to tackle content review again. I’m just struggling to find the time. As I’m typing this, it’s 5:20 am and I just finished reviewing a psych chapter. Right now, it looks like I might have to bite the bullet and study at the time I would be working. I’ve moved on from Kaplan to The Princeton Review. While I’m only one chapter in, I’ve noticed a few typos in the book. It’s mostly just spelling mistakes, hopefully, there aren’t any more serious ones. I’m also planning to incorporate Anki and videos into my studying. At the moment, I’m looking into Magoosh. It’s affordable, but since it’s fairly new there aren’t a lot of reviews. Maybe once I get my bearings, I’ll do a complete post on what I’m using to study, but things are kind of slow at the moment.
That’s it for now. I’m working on some fun content so hopefully, that stuff will be up in a couple of weeks. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
Thanks for reading!