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How do I Become a Healthcare Technician?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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A healthcare technician is someone who works in a support capacity to invalids, the physically challenged,and the elderly. Nurse’s aide, personal support worker, or home health aide are other names for healthcare technicians. To become a healthcare technician, there are three requirements: education, experience, and health and criminal record check.

Healthcare technicians find employment in nursing or assistive living homes, hospitals, retirement communities, and home healthcare firms. They provide a very valuable service that focuses on addressing the physical needs of patients. Quality of life for seniors and invalids is very closely related to the level of daily care. Quality, consistent care improves overall health and decreases the risk of infections, which can be very harmful to patients with a fragile immune system.

The educational requirements for a healthcare technician vary, but all large nursing homes and hospitals require the successful completion of a post secondary program as a healthcare technician. A one-year program is available from a wide range of community and career colleges. These programs combine theoretical and practical courses to provide the skills necessary for this career.

Large health care employers prefer healthcare technicians with practical experience. This can be obtained through a work placement as part of the education program. Many people find employment in small group homes, supportive facilities, and private health care firms before becoming certified.

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The role of healthcare technician is a physically demanding one. As a result, many employers require potential employees to pass a medical exam. The exam includes tests for hepatitis B, tuberculosis and any muscle or mental condition that would interfere with the ability to meet the requirements of the position.

A criminal records check is mandatory for a position as a healthcare technician. This check can be completed at any police station. A criminal records check for this type of health care role is a standard requirement, and there is often a nominal fee charged by the police department. The report provides information on any arrests or convictions.

A valid first aid and cardiopulmonary rescue (CPR) certificate is required at the time of employment and must be maintained each year. Most health care facilities ensure their staff maintains their certification by offering these courses on site. Additional courses can be completed to perform advanced rescue and first aid techniques.

Many people start their careers as a healthcare technician and then return to school to become a practical or registered nurse. The courses completed toward the healthcare technician certification are transferable and credit is often granted for practical work experience. Explore all the options to find a healthcare career path that works for you.

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