To become a PCT, you’ll need to have a high school diploma and complete a PCT training program, which includes a Nursing Assistant Certification (6-week day program, 10-week night program) and a Phlebotomy Technician Certification (5-week day program and 9-week evening program). After completing a PCT training program, or acquiring equivalent work experience, you can become a certified patient care technician/assistant (CPCT/A) by passing a PCT Certification exam.
Patient Care Technicians (PCT) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) both play essential roles in the medical field. These positions are similar, but a PCT can perform more tasks than a CNA and typically earns more money.
Many people find the work rewarding because both jobs entail interacting with patients and helping them through difficult times in their lives. If you're interested in working in the medical field but don't want to take the time to train as a nurse or physician, consider becoming a CNA or a PCT.
Certified Nurse Assistants provide basic care to patients, including taking vital signs, feeding, and bathing. In addition, CNAs often work with medical technology, such as billing software, health information software, and medical record charting software.
PCTs perform the same tasks as nursing assistants, but they're also trained to perform additional medical jobs, such as ECG and EKG readings and Phlebotomy drawing blood.
If you’re motivated to provide hands-on assistance and make a real difference in patients’ lives, earning your PCT can prepare you for your dream job.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals rely on PCT - Patient Care Technicians to assist with the critical day-to-day care some patients need. As a PCT, you’ll provide hands-on assistance to serve patients’ basic needs, as well as work alongside other healthcare professionals.
More and more patients require special care, sometimes around-the-clock. Needs vary from patient to patient, making it vital that the Patient Care Technician/Assistant has a diverse range of knowledge and skills to provide their basic care.
As a PCT Patient Care Technician/Assistant, you may perform some or all of the following tasks:
As the elderly population increases, healthcare facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes have a great demand for qualified PCT - Patient Care Technicians. Since this profession is needed in many practices, you may have various opportunities available to you. Earning your PCT can help you launch a career in the healthcare path you choose.
Communication skills. A PCT must communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers (nurses, doctors, etc.)
Compassion. A PCT care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.
Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. A PCT must have the patience to complete these tasks.
Physical stamina. A PCT spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.
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To be a CNA, you're not required to have a high school diploma or GED, and you must pass the State Nursing Assistant exam. The Harborview School offers a CNA class that includes an emphasis on communication skills and compassionate caregiving. Students learn procedural skills, such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning, through lecture, DVDs, role-playing and laboratory practice.
To work as a PCT, you typically need to complete a patient care technician certificate program. This program combines classroom lectures, lab work and clinical experiences. Courses cover the necessary skills of the job, such as phlebotomy, electrocardiography and first aid. Some programs might also include courses in communication, infection control and the principles and practices of hemodialysis.
In some states or institutions, you can get hired as a CNA and then train on the job to become a PCT.
Overall employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, and employment of medical assistants is projected to grow even faster – 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. Both of these occupations are growing faster than the average occupation. Aging of the baby boomer population will continue to increase demand for medical positions, including CNAs and PCTs.