PCT stands for patient care technician.
This is a type of medical personnel whose role becomes more and more important in the healthcare industry.
If you consider becoming a PCT you might want to know how much money you’ll make per hour.
This article will help you find this out and not only, so read on!
Patient Care Technician Job Description
Not many people realize that the pay they receive for any work they do should be proportional to the amount of effort they put into their job.
Therefore, it’s important to know more about what is a PCT supposed to do.
First of all, they’re very close to the patients as PCTs work directly with the patients.
It’s also quite common for them to work night shifts as well as weekend shifts.
This generally depends on the facility employing these professionals.
Here’s what these technicians are doing on a regular day at work:
- Serving meals
- Ensuring patients drink and eat enough
- Talking to the patients
- Measuring and monitoring their vitals
- Drawing blood
- Performing CPR
- Helping patients with using the bathroom
- Catheter care
- Talking to the families of the patients
- Maintaining patient rooms clean
- Escorting the patients for various procedures
It’s important to know that patient care techs perform most of these tasks while under supervision.
The supervision comes from nurses and doctors as these professionals have more qualifications than PCTs.
Patient Care Technician Education
Your future income will partially depend on your education, so it’s important to know more about this aspect.
As far as this aspect goes, you’ll need first to make sure to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, the GED.
After that, you’ll need to get some post-secondary education.
This can be completed at various technical schools, trade schools, or community colleges.
Some of the best programs to attend as a future patient care technician are:
- Those for certified nurse assistants
- Those for patient care technicians
- Those for medical assistants
It’s recommended for future PCTs to attend additional classes such as:
Additional classes are useful for someone in the medical field as these will:
- Open the doors to various career options
- Give you more responsibilities
- A higher-income
It’s very common for those completing these specific courses to also obtain certificates.
Most schools offer classes that can be attended only in person.
However, these courses can be either full-time or part-time.
The duration of the courses can be between several months and a few years, depending on the institution you’ll enroll at.
Some PCTs choose to earn a degree at the Associates’ level that has a duration of 2 years to complete.
PCTs will deal with a variety of patients and their education to training will have to prepare them for all these situations.
As such, typical classes will have to cover topics like the following:
- Working with patients with diabetes
- Restorative care
- Home health protocol
- Wound care
- Ostomy care
- Infection control
- Medical terms and abbreviations
- Inserting catheters
- The structure and function of body systems
The institutions offering classes for patient care techs are scattered all across the country.
The courses also have a practice component in a clinical setting.
Patient Care Technician Certification
We already made it clear that your education will positively affect your wage.
Education will stand out more if you’ll earn some credentials.
We established that certain training will award you some certifications, like CPR.
However, you’ll also need a “general” certification that will be accepted by your local authorities.
Generally, the authorities are your state’s Nurse Aide Registry.
For this, you’ll need to pass the exam organized by the National Healthcare Association (or NHA, for short).
This exam costs $149 and you must sign up for it.
Those who want to take the exam have to be aware that some schools include this fee in the tuition charged.
Candidates need the following when signing up:
- Being at least 18 old
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Being graduates from a specialized training program
- Being citizens or nationals of the USA
- To submit a set of fingerprints
According to the National Healthcare Association, the training program can be replaced with 1 year of experience in the medical field.
To earn additional credentials you will likely have to pass the respective exams.
Patient Care Technician Hourly Wage
Tied with the payment, is the employer or place of work.
This means that where you work and for whom will also influence how much you’ll earn.
So possible workplaces for PCTs are:
- Various rehabilitation centers
- Facilities for long term care and assisted living
How is the workplace influencing your income?
That’s easy to answer – it’s related to your work schedule and shifts.
Generally, hospitals, hospices, and facilities for long-term care and assisted living, require personnel around the clock.
This means that everyone working there will have to work night shifts as well as weekend shifts.
The shifts can also be longer than in other places.
However, working all these shifts, while tiring, can only make your wage higher.
Where you live and work will also impact your income.
For instance, in places where the cost of living is higher, salaries are higher as well.
The downside is that you can’t really live in a place with a low cost of living and work where the salary is higher.
Now, let’s have a look at real numbers.
If you just start working as a PCT and you have the minimum training, you could earn around $27,100 per year.
This means that in an hour worked, a patient care technician earns about $14 at the very least.
Once you get more credentials and are a bit more experienced, you could earn about as much as most other PCTs.
The average salary for a PCT in the USA is around $32,000 per annum or around $16 per hour.
The highest income a patient care tech can earn is approximately $42,000 every year.
When calculated as an hourly payment, the wage is around $22.
To reach such a sum, you’d need:
- To gain a lot of experience
- To work as many shifts as possible
- To work as many weekends as possible
Working so much is very stressful and not many people can cope with it.
Keep in mind that there are more PCTs that earn the minimum wage for the occupation compared to those earning the highest wage.
The majority of these medical personnel will earn the average salary, more or less.
Regardless of everything mentioned, PCTs still earn double the minimum salary across the country.
It took us quite a bit to reveal how much patient care technicians earn.
This was important because not everyone is familiar with this field of work, let alone the training and credentials needed for such a position.
Few people realize there are many factors that will impact how much a person can earn while performing certain jobs.
We only presented the most important of them.
All the aspects we presented will help you realize a few things.
The most important thing you’ll figure is how fair the salary is when comparing it to:
- The time spent preparing for the job
- How difficult the occupation is, when considering:
- The number of hours works
- The length of the shifts
- The duties of the job