How to Become a PCT in Pennsylvania

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Some industries need personnel more than others and one of the ones with high demand is the medical field.

One of the positions you could consider in Pennsylvania is that of a patient care technician.

Grab a drink and read on if you want to know the path you must follow for this medical career!

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Patient Care Technician Job Description and Duties in Pennsylvania

One of the first things you need to know about this occupation is that is it very similar to that of a nurse assistant.

PCTs have more skills and training than CNAs and can also complete their tasks unsupervised.

Speaking of tasks, some of the most common of them are:

  • 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

It shouldn’t even be mentioned that actual duties will vary based on the patients you’ll care for.

Patient Care Technician Job Requirements in Pennsylvania

You probably wonder what kind of person can or should become a PCT in this state.

The ideal candidate has the following qualities:

  • Has a high school diploma or GED
  • Has good communication skills
  • Is detail-oriented
  • Is compassionate
  • Has a clean criminal background
  • Is certified
  • Has physical stamina
  • Is listed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry

Patient Care Technician Education in Pennsylvania

As already mentioned, a patient care tech needs more education and training than a certified nurse assistant.

The State of Pennsylvania has a dozen schools offering training to those who hope to have a career as a PCT.

The schools are listed below, though institutions from other states are also acceptable for this occupation.

Top 12 Schools in Pennsylvania

School NameAddress
Ebensburg Center881 Hills Plaza Drive, Suite 450 Ebensburg, PA 15931
Great Lakes Institute Of Technology5100 Peach Street Erie, Pennsylvania 16509
Huntingdon Center6311 Margy Drive Huntingdon, PA 16652
Jolie Academy125 North Wilkes-Barre Blvd. Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Logan Valley Mall5580 Goods Ln Altoona, PA 16602
Main Line Health - Mirmont Treatment Center100 Yearsley Mill Road Lima, PA 19063
Main Line Health - Riddle Hospital1068 West Baltimore Pike Media, PA 19063
Main Line Health - Paoli Hospital255 West Lancaster Avenue Paoli, PA 19301
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College101 Community College Way Johnstown, PA 15904
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College425 Main Street, 1st Floor Johnstown, PA 15901
Pittsburgh Technical Institute1111 McKee Road Oakdale PA 15071
Somerset Center6024 Glades Pike, Suite 210 Somerset, PA 15501

When choosing your school, keep in mind the diploma you could earn upon graduation:

  • Certificate
  • Associates’ degree
  • Bachelor’s degree

Many students go for a certificate, though a degree opens the doors to more possibilities.

However, the higher the diploma you want, the more time you’ll spend studying.

Certifications usually take about a year to complete for instance.

Regardless of the type of diploma you choose, you need to make sure you fit the criteria set by the school when enrolling in a program.

These are the most widespread criteria for future PCT students:

  • 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

Once you’re in, these are some of the skills you’ll develop:

  • 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

Many of these classes have a practical aspect.

This means you’ll have to attend 100% of the clinical practice hours the program has.

Patient Care Technician Certification in Pennsylvania

After the training program ends, you have to sign up for and pass an exam.

This is how you get certified.

The best certification for patient care technicians is offered by the NHA or the National Health Association.

Here’s how you sign up for this test:

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

There are at least 2 things to remember when signing up:

  • The exam fee can be included in the tuition for the training course, so make sure not to pay it twice.
  • NHA accepts the substitution of education with 1 year of experience in the field.

You’ll have almost 2 hours to answer 20 pre-test questions and 100 exam questions.

Patient Care Technician Employment and Salary in Pennsylvania

As we already mentioned, it will be relatively easy to find employment even as a freshly certified PCT.

These are the locations hiring the most:

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

The average salary for a patient care tech in Pennsylvania is $34,000 a year.

Aspects like experience, shifts, and locations, may drag the number lower or higher.

Upper Darby, Philadelphia, and Abington are the cities where the wages are higher by default.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Patient Care Technicians in Pennsylvania

City NameSalary
Upper Darby$36,580
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ4,700$37,010$17.79$42,330$31,300
Altoona, PA860$34,690$16.68$41,020$28,850
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA840$33,000$15.87$38,280$29,580
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA600$38,780$18.64$50,030$30,350
East Stroudsburg, PA350$34,230$16.46$35,940$30,120
Erie, PA1,700$34,250$16.47$39,580$29,430
Gettysburg, PA410$35,650$17.14$40,590$30,990
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA3,870$36,350$17.48$40,120$30,830
Johnstown, PA490$31,070$14.94$36,260$27,480
Lancaster, PA3,100$36,060$17.34$40,180$30,090
Lebanon, PA640$36,140$17.38$41,980$29,720
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD32,440$37,780$18.17$44,090$30,560
Pittsburgh, PA11,340$36,430$17.51$40,540$30,850
Reading, PA1,740$36,140$17.38$40,730$31,200
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA2,810$34,670$16.67$39,330$29,700
State College, PA490$35,110$16.88$39,260$28,960
Williamsport, PA690$34,160$16.42$38,110$29,010
York-Hanover, PA1,600$35,590$17.11$38,210$30,070
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Nursing Assistants, OCC Code 31-1131, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Patient Care Technician in Pennsylvania

Use these resources when you feel you need more help:

  • Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • National Health Association
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