Technical Standards

The goal of the Patient Care Technician (PCT) program is to prepare students for patient care practice in an entry-level setting. Safe and competent patient care practice requires that graduates demonstrate competencies in knowledge, skills, and attitude guided by adherence to ethical and legal principles.

The Department will consider any applicant who demonstrates the ability to learn to perform all the competencies listed and does not present any safety hazard towards self or recipient of care. These competencies are required skills in order to render safe patient care to patients in various healthcare settings.

Some chronic or recurrent illnesses and problems could interfere with patient care and safety, and may be incompatible with patient care education and practice, since they may lead to a higher chance of absences. Students in the PCT program are not required to disclose any chronic or recurrent illness and/or disability; however, those with concerns about meeting these technical standards are strongly encouraged to discuss the issues with the Department Chair. Deficiencies in knowledge, skills, judgments, integrity, or professional attitude may jeopardize patient care and, as a result, may be grounds for course failure and possible dismissal from the PCT program.

Students must have the aptitude and abilities in six areas: sensory ability and skills; fine and gross motor skills; strength, mobility, and physical endurance; the ability to communicate, comprehend, read, and write in English; behavioral stability; and cognitive ability and critical thinking skills.


Functional Ability Standard Examples of Required Activities
Visual Optical ability to sufficiently observe a patient and gather data accurately from a distance as well as close up
  • Detect changes in skin color or condition
  • Collect data from patient care equipment, monitoring devices, and measuring equipment used in the care of clients
  • Read measuring devices that may be hung or placed below bed level
  • Read fine print in varying levels of light
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient for physical monitoring and assessment of patient healthcare needs
  • Hear normal speaking level sounds
  • Detect sounds related to bodily functions with the use of a stethoscope or detect audible alarms generated by mechanical equipment used to monitor patient’s physiologic status
  • Detect signs of fire and initiate emergency actions
  • Hear call bells and/or cries for help
Smell Olfactory ability sufficient to detect significant patient and environmental odors
  • Detect odors of bodily fluids, such as foul smelling drainage, spoiled foods, or smoke from burning materials
  • Detect smoke
Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for physical monitoring and assessment of healthcare needs
  • Tactile ability to detect unsafe temperature levels of solutions or heat-producing devices used in patient care
  • Tactile ability to detect anatomical abnormalities like edema, swelling, or nodules and masses
  • Feel vibrations such as palpable pulse, feel differences in size and shape needed to identify bodily landmarks or skin surface signs such as rash or skin turgor
Communication Oral communication skills sufficient to communicate in English with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency with patients, their families, and other members of the healthcare team, including non-verbal communication such as interpretation of facial expressions, affect, and body language
  • Communicate clearly with patients and their families, and members of the healthcare team
  • Give verbal directions to, or follow verbal directions from, other members of the healthcare team and participate in healthcare team discussions of patient care
  • Recognize and report critical patient information to other caregivers
Gross Motor Skills Gross motor skills sufficient to provide the full range of safe and efficient patient care activities
  • Gather data by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic means
  • Position patients, and assist in turning or lifting patients
  • Reach below the waist or overhead while providing patient care or performing nursing procedures
  • Maneuver in small patient areas such as patient rooms, treatment rooms, or nursing work stations
Fine Motor Skills Fine motor skills sufficient to perform manual psychomotor skills
  • Pick up and handle small objects with fingers
  • Carry out patient care procedures such as wound care
Physical Endurance Physical stamina sufficient to remain on task continuously for a six-, eight-, or 12-hour clinical shift while standing, sitting, moving, lifting, and bending to in order to perform various patient care activities
  • Complete a six-, eight-, or 12-hour clinical shift which could be in varying times of the day or day of the week such as day shift, evening shift, night shift, or weekend shifts
  • Turn and position patients as a preventive need against development of skin breakdown
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Physical Strength Physical strength sufficient to perform the full range of required patient care activities
  • Push and/or pull 250 pounds
  • Lift and/or move heavy objects weighing between 25 and 50 pounds
Mobility Physical ability sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces; full range of motion to twist, bend, stoop, squat, reach above shoulders and below waist and move quickly; manual and finger dexterity; and hand-eye coordination to perform nursing activities
  • Walk without a cane, walker, or crutches in order to ambulate patient and provide bedside care
  • Move around work and/or treatment areas. Position oneself in the environment in order to render care without obstructing the position of other team members and/or equipment
Emotional/
Behavioral
Emotional stability and appropriate behavior sufficient to assume responsibility and accountability for actions
  • Deal with the unexpected such as frequently changing client status
  • Handle strong emotions
  • Be flexible with changing environments and schedules in both classes and clinical settings
  • Be able to work in close quarters with clients, classmates, nursing faculty, and members of the healthcare teams
  • Focus attention on task
  • Monitor own emotions and be able to keep emotions under control in classroom and clinical environments
  • Establish a therapeutic relationship and communicate in supportive manner
Professional Attitudes and Interpersonal Skills Present professional appearance and demeanor; demonstrate ability to communicate with patients, supervisors, and other members of the healthcare team to achieve a positive and safe work environment. Follow instructions and safety protocols
  • Maintain empathetic, flexible, culturally sensitive, therapeutic relationships with others
  • Accept accountability and responsibility for one's actions
  • Comply with both the ethical and legal standards of the profession
  • Express compassion, empathy, and a caring concern for others
  • Demonstrate initiative, motivation, and diligence
  • Display integrity, honesty, and responsibility
  • Display respect, sensitivity, and tolerance for diverse populations
  • Demonstrate comfort with close physical contact in the care of clients
Cognitive/Quantitative Abilities Reading comprehension skills and mathematical ability sufficient to understand documents written in English and solve problems involving measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis
  • Give clear oral patient reports
  • Read graphs
  • Read and understand printed instructional materials for both classroom and/or clinical setting use
  • Legibly write or type in client physical or electronic records
  • Effectively converse with patient and members of the healthcare team
  • Discriminate fine/subtle differences in medical word or medications
  • Give and understand verbal directions
Conceptual/Spatial Abilities Conceptual spatial ability sufficient to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships
  • Comprehend spatial relationship needed to properly assess wounds of varying depths
Clinical Reasoning Ability to logically reason across time regarding a patient’s changing condition
  • Carry out the nursing process in the care of patients
  • Process information thoroughly and quickly to prioritize tasks
  • Analyze and synthesize data to effectively contribute to the patient plan of care
  • Sequence or cluster patient findings
  • Identify cause and effect relationships
  • Effectively and accurately collect data, prioritize, and anticipate reactions
  • Demonstrate skill of recall using both long- and short-term memory, inferential reasoning, anticipation of possible outcomes, application of knowledge, and evaluation of predicted outcomes according to the level in the program
Flexibility Adapt to College’s course schedule policy
  • Available to work the hours of an assigned schedule, which may include any shift during any day of the week; or attend on-campus classes during the day, evening, and/or weekend