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There are a number of different direct patient care jobs that are available to people who wish to work in the healthcare industry, and some may only require on the job training rather than a lengthy degree process or certificate program. Some of the most common patient care jobs involve working with people in long term care facilities, who may need daily assistance with eating meals or practicing basic hygiene. A patient care technician might also have specific duties in a doctor's office or hospital; for example, a person may work in dialysis patient care, and will then be responsible for setting patients up for dialysis when they come in for treatment.
Some patient care jobs may also be more administrative in nature, and people in these jobs may be doing work with scheduling or clinical support services to ensure the medical facility is staffed properly. He or she might also work with new employees and provide training or assistance when needed. Assisting patients in scheduling procedures or in preparing for procedures might be part of the job description as well. This position is sometimes referred to as a patient care coordinator, and may require more education, such as in the field of nursing, in comparison with many direct patient assistance jobs.
Each medical facility may require different skills, experience, or education for patient care jobs. Assistant patients with bathing, meals, or performing daily tasks of living are some of the most common patient care jobs. Hospital transport staff, who are responsible for transporting patients to different departments around the hospital for various procedures, is another example of patient care that does not generally require specialized training. All of these jobs require potential employees to enjoy working with people, and to have the ability to stay calm in a stressful working environment, even in the most basic areas of patient care.
Specific technician jobs, as in areas such as dialysis or phlebotomy, will obviously require more specialized medical training. Some facilities may be willing to train new employees, while others will expect that the new employees have already completed a certification program. Much more advanced patient care jobs are in the various nursing fields, such as a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). Some people studying nursing begin working as a nurse's aide to get more on the job experience, or may choose to work in other patient care jobs simply to get experience working with people in a healthcare environment.