If you’re one of those seeking employment in the healthcare industry, you came to the right place!
Did you know that one of the easiest jobs to get in this industry is that of a patient care technician?
This article will explain how you can get hired for this position as far as the requirements are concerned.
If we got you curious, don’t stop reading!
PCT Job Description and Duties
Patient care technicians are medical personnel spending a lot of time around patients, taking care of them.
These professionals can’t work without being supervised by a nurse or a doctor.
Compared to nurses or doctors, patient care technicians might spend more time around patients.
Ther duties include:
- Maintaining rooms clean
- Helping the patients with their hygiene
- Monitoring the vitals of the patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking the samples to the lab
- Escorting the patients to the various places for investigations
- Performing catheter care – where needed
- Talking to the patients’ families
- Feeding patients
- Performing CPR if needed
As one could expect, not all patients have the same needs.
Therefore, these duties will be adapted based on the needs of the patients in the PCT’s care.
PCT Job Requirements
Like any other job, that of a patient care tech also has some requirements to meet.
These prerequisites relate to various aspects, such as the candidate’s knowledge and skills, and not only.
For instance, it’s easy to see that some of the tasks of the job mandate specific medical procedures.
Let’s have a look at the ideal candidate.
She or he will need to:
- Be detail-oriented
- Be registered with the Nurse Registry of the state they work in
- Have a clean criminal record
- Pass a drug test
- Have several certifications
- Be compassionate
- Have physical stamina
- Have very good communication skills
One should expect the prerequisites to change slightly depending on where one applies for a patient care technician position.
PCT Education and Certification
If you want to become a PCT you might not know that to be recorded in the Nurse Registry, you actually need to be certified for the position.
However, you can’t earn the certification without first undergoing some training or receiving some formal education.
Let’s first learn more about the training or formal education you’ll need.
PCT Classes and Schools
Before anything else, you’ll have to complete and graduate from high school.
However, a GED diploma is also accepted for this field.
The next step is to enroll in a training program designed for certified nurse assistants.
However, there are programs for patient care technicians as well.
An alternative is to enroll in a program for medical assistants.
The majority of the courses must be attended in class.
Students do have the option to sign up for online or hybrid classes as well.
Online Classes for PCTs
It’s important to know that regardless of the type of classes you’ll choose, you’ll still have to attend practice classes in a clinical setting.
The advantage of studying online is that you can take your time to learn the subjects, as some aspects can be more difficult to understand than others.
Many of the schools offering courses that need to be attended in-person offer online schooling as well.
Additionally, many institutions that offer any type of course online, will make the coursework mobile-friendly too.
US Career Institute
One such institution is the US Career Institute that has 40years of experience in distance learning and offers monthly payments for tuition.
Additionally, the tuition also includes the fee for the certification exam.
The course offered by this institution has a duration of just 4 months.
You’ll only earn a certificate upon completing the program.
Ultimate Medical Academy
The program offered by the Ultimate Medical Academy has a duration of 12 months.
This academy offers practice hours on its campus in Tampa, FL.
Upon graduation from this program, you’ll be earning a diploma instead of a simple certificate.
Midlands Technical College
This college is located in South Carolina and the class it offers lasts for 9 months.
Unlike other institutions, the Midlands Technical College has specific requirements for those interested in this training program.
These include obtaining at least a “C” in the medical terminology course.
Saint Paul College
Should you choose Saint Paul College from Minnesota, you have the option to earn an Associates’ Degree diploma.
You’ll be studying for 2 years, full time.
Furthermore, this college is open to accepting everyone applying from across the country.
No matter which school you choose, these will be some of the topics you will learn:
- Medical terms
- Patient charting 101
- Introduction to anatomy
- Patient cleanliness
- Vital signs
- Patient care
It’s not mandatory for patient care technicians to become certified.
Doing so will set you aside from other candidates, in the eyes of the employers.
Those who seek to earn any type of credential in this field need to pass the Patient Care Technician Certification exam.
This test is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), though it is organized at various testing centers across each state.
The certification exam has a duration of 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Candidates will have to answer a total of 120 questions, 20 of them being pre-test.
This certification is also available for those who didn’t complete a training program but accumulated 1 year of related experience instead.
Patient care techs will also have to earn some additional certifications.
These credentials might be included in some of the training programs, especially those with in-person attendance.
The extra certifications you might need include:
While EKG and drawing blood can be learned while working, it’s better to already know these procedures.
This will make you a more efficient employee and allow you to ask for a higher salary too.
Considerations for the Online PCT Training Programs
Online training programs for PCTs are a great choice for those who want a healthcare-related career but don’t have other options in their state.
These programs are usually cheaper when compared to traditional classes.
While online learning does have many advantages, there are some things one needs to consider before choosing.
For starters, you’ll need to figure out some way of completing the clinical practice hours.
PCTs have a hands-on type of job that can be better learned through practice.
Not all of the online programs offer the additional certifications you might want to obtain, as mentioned above.
Another thing to pay attention to is the accreditation or recognition of the course or school you opt for.
By doing so, you’ll be certain the course is legit and that you won’t spend money in vain.
Meeting some requirements at the time of enrollment into a class is to be expected with all schools, including those offering online education.
You might also want to reach out to former students if possible, to find out a bit more about the school before you sign up.
Patient care technicians complete some tasks that can only be learned through specialized training.
Luckily, for those interested in such a job, training is offered in a handful of different ways.
Depending on the duration of the program, an online program can be cheaper.
It’s also a good option for those who already got hired in the medical field but require to be certified for the position.