A hospital tech, or a patient care technician, has a very important job. These professionals are in a supporting role with the doctors and nurses at the hospital and rendering care to you. Essentially, a patient care technician helps patients under the supervision of a nurse. The patient care technician will check blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and pulse. These are known as vitals. Sometimes a patient care technician will take other vitals, including monitoring fluid in through the IV or liquid drank, and fluid out through urine.
Patient care technicians also help make the bend, change sheets, and provide additional blankets or covering. They are responsible for maintaining the patient’s room, including giving basic toiletries in the morning and keeping the bathroom fresh for a patient. Some patient care technicians will also help patients bathe, change clothing, and perform tasks such as shaving, combing hair, or brushing teeth. Patient care technicians will also help get patients up and mobile by escorting them up and down the hallways.
However, a patient care technician cannot provide or render any medical care or treatment. Nor can a patient care technician give medical advice. These professionals need to be careful in that role; nurses cannot even give medical advice.
Where a patient care technician makes mistakes is failing to perform his or her tasks, failing to properly perform his or her tasks, and failing to document such vital information accurately. Patient care technicians can also get in trouble for failing to alert nurses or doctors of changes in the patient’s vitals which warrant alarm, such as a rapidly dropping heart rate or very high or very low blood pressure.
Communication is the most common contributing factor to medical malpractice cases. If a patient care technician fails to advise a nurse or doctor of problems and fails to document vitals, it can lead to medical malpractice. It can also be medical malpractice!
Even through a patient care technician cannot give medical advice and perform medical treatment, a patient care technician can still cause medical malpractice! That is because the patient care technician is an employee of the hospital, making the hospital vicariously liable for any medical malpractice. This allows a patient to recover for his or her medical malpractice injuries.
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