How to Become a PCT in California

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Many people are interested in becoming a nurse or working in the medical field in some sort of way.

If you’re one of these people, you could be interested in a position as a patient care technician in California.

If this is the case, then read this article!

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Get information on Patient Care Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Patient Care Technician Job Description and Duties in California

Individuals should know that PCTs have a very similar occupation as CNAs.

The main difference is that the former can perform most of their job duties without supervision, unlike the latter.

Patient care techs not only help the patients but also their families as well as the remaining staff of the institution they work for.

This list of PCT job duties will paint a clearer picture of this occupation:

  • Bathing and feeding the patients
  • Catheter care
  • Maintaining patient rooms clean
  • Vital sign monitoring
  • Performing phlebotomy procedures
  • Talking to the patients’ families
  • Escorting patients to various places for further investigations

In this state, it is mandatory for patient care technicians to be found in the California Nurse Aide Registry.

Additionally, each medical facility hiring PCTs may assign extra duties to these professionals.

Patient Care Technician Job Requirements in California

You can’t decide if you really want to become a PCT or not without knowing the qualities you must have.

Here are the main job requirements for a PCT position:

  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Having good communication skills
  • Being detail-oriented
  • Being compassionate
  • Having a clean criminal background
  • Being certified
  • Having physical stamina

It’s also not uncommon for employers to ask for additional skills and qualities from the candidates.

What’s more, is that you need to pass an exam if you want to be listed in the Registry.

Patient Care Technician Education in California

The California Nurse Registry requires future PCTs to get trained before passing the certification exam.

This is important because these professionals will work unsupervised while performing certain procedures for which one needs some credentials.

The schools below offer many good training programs you can consider enrolling into.

Top 42 Schools in California

School Name Address
Allan Hancock College 800 South College Drive, Santa Maria, California 93454-6399
American River College 4700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, California 95841-4286
Angeles College 3440 Wilshire Blvd Ste 310, Los Angeles, California 90010
Bakersfield College 1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, California 93305-1299
Butte College 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville, California 95965-8399
California Nurses Educational Institute 5200 E. Ramon Rd. Suite I-1, Palm Springs, California 92264
Central Coast College 480 S Main Street, Salinas, California 93901-3301
Chaffey College 5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, California 91737-3002
Charles A Jones Career and Education Center 5451 Lemon Hill Ave, Sacramento, California 95824-1529
Clovis Adult Education 1452 David E Cook Way, Clovis, California 93611
College of the Sequoias 915 S. Mooney Blvd, Visalia, California 93277-2214
Contra Costa College 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, California 94806-3195
Cuesta College Highway 1, San Luis Obispo, California 93403-8106
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program 1501 W Del Norte St., West Covina, California 91790
Escondido Adult School 220 W Crest Street, Escondido, California 92025
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education 14101 E. Nelson Ave, La Puente, California 91746-0002
Healthcare Career College 8527 Alondra Blvd, #174, Paramount, California 90723-5258
Institute of Technology 564 W Herndon, Clovis, California 93612
Long Beach City College 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, California 90808-1706
Los Angeles Mission College 13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, California 91342-3200
Medical Allied Career Center 12631 East Imperial Highway Bldg D-108, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670-4710
Merced College 3600 M St, Merced, California 95348-2898
Milan Institute-Visalia 6500 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, California 93277
MiraCosta College One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, California 92056-3899
Mission College 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, California 95054-1897
Modesto Junior College 435 College Ave, Modesto, California 95350-5800
Mt. Diablo Adult Education-Mt. Diablo USD Loma Vista Adult Center 1266 San Carlos Avenue., Concord, California 94518-1199
Palo Verde College One College Drive, Blythe, California 92225
Platt College-Anaheim 1551 South Douglass Road, Anaheim, California 92806-5949
Platt College-Los Angeles 1000 South Fremont Avenue, A10, Alhambra, California 91803
Poway Adult School 13626 Twin Peaks Road, Poway, California 92064
Reedley College 995 N Reed Ave, Reedley, California 93654
Riverside City College 4800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, California 92506
Riverside County Office of Education-School of Career Education 2100 E. Alessandro Blvd., Indio, California 92508
Santa Rosa Junior College 1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95401-4395
Santiago Canyon College 8045 E Chapman, Orange, California 92869-4512
Shasta College 11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, California 96003
Solano Community College 4000 Suisun Valley Rd, Fairfield, California 94534-3197
Southwestern College 900 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista, California 91910-7299
Summit College 804 E Brier Dr, San Bernardino, California 92404
Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences 1225 W. 190th Street, Gardena, California 90248
West Coast Ultrasound Institute 3580 Wilshire Blvd., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90010

Of course, not all the courses are made the same.

This is especially true when it comes to the program’s duration.

None of them lasts for less than several months usually up to a year.

These classes issue a certification upon completion.

However, those who want better career prospects, later on, choose to attend courses at the Associates’ degree level or higher.

This means spending at least 2 years studying.

Regardless of the option you prefer, you’ll have to attend all the clinical hours included in the class.

Most commonly, only those who meet these prerequisites are accepted in these programs:

  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Passed a drug screening test
  • Passed a TB skin test
  • Have the following health immunizations done:
    • MMR
    • Varicella
    • Hepatitis B
    • Flu
    • Tetanus

Patient cate techs need to learn about the following:

  • Providing patient safety
  • Providing basic care
  • Medical terminology and abbreviations
  • Basic infection control procedures and techniques
  • The structure and function of body systems
  • Identifying and reporting changes in the patient’s condition
  • Monitoring and recording bodily functions
  • CPR
  • First aide techniques
  • Drawing blood
  • Inserting catheters

Patient Care Technician Certification in California

Getting the certification in California is rather easy as all you need to do is to complete your training and then pass the exam.

This is what you need to sign up for the NHA test:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Graduate from a specialized training program
  • Pay the exam fee – $149
  • Show proof of citizenship or nationality
  • Submit a set of fingerprints

NHA accepts at least 1 year of experience in the field instead of an educational program.

However, you might want to enroll in the training program because the tuition may often cover the fee for the exam.

Regarding the test itself, it is 10 minutes short of 2 hours.

You’ll also have to answer 20 pre-test questions before you can complete the 100 questions of the exam.

Patient Care Technician Employment and Salary in California

You should know that the healthcare industry is in high need of personnel, including PCTs.

Finding a job at the following facilities could be the easiest:

  • Hospitals,
  • Clinics,
  • Rehabilitation centers,
  • Long term care and assisted living facilities,
  • Hospices
  • Home care

In California, a patient care technician earns an average salary of $38,000 per year, with salaries being higher in cities like San Jose or San Francisco.

Annual Salary Range:
$31K
$38K
$48K

Average Salary of Patient Care Technicians in California

City Name Salary
Los Angeles $38,564
San Diego $36,797
San Jose $42,793
San Francisco $42,623
Fresno $33,921
Sacramento $36,857
Long Beach $38,019
Oakland $40,577
Bakersfield $36,519
Anaheim $38,105
* Salary information last updated 2021

Additional Information for Patient Care Technician in California

PCTs could use these resources when needing further help:

  • California Nurse Aide Registry
  • National Health Association
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