The Costs for Becoming a Patient Care Technician

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Almost everyone knows that the healthcare industry is in great need of personnel.

Some of the positions available are easier to get hired for when compared to others.

One of these is that of a patient care technician.

However, you’ll need to undergo some training and the program is not free of charge.

This article will talk in-depth about the training and the costs of becoming a patient care technician, so read on!

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What Is The Job of a Patient Care Technician?

It’s pretty important to know what the job of a patient care technician entails, before even getting started on this path.

This is to ensure you’re ready and a good match for it.

So here are some of the things you’ll have to do as a patient care technician on duty:

  • Helping with personal hygiene
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Drawing samples of blood
  • Tending to wounds
  • Collecting urine samples
  • Sending the samples to the lab
  • Offering care pre and post procedures
  • Performing CPR – if needed
  • Administering IVs
  • Helping patients go to various labs for further investigations

Depending on the facility you’ll be working at, these duties could vary.

Requirements to Become a Patient Care Technician

You probably wonder what do you need to do if you wanted to become a patient care tech.

You’ll first have to see if you have the profile of the ideal candidate.

The best person to have the job of a patient care technician has the following:

  • Compassion
  • Detail-oriented
  • Certification for CPR, EKG
  • Clean criminal record
  • Physical stamina
  • Good communication skills
  • Registration with the Nurse Aide Registry of the state of residence
  • Being able to anticipate needs
  • Being able to work in a team

One can only imagine that for some of these duties you’ll need both knowledge and skills.

Patient Care Technician Education

So, how does one get the knowledge and skills needed for the job?

As you might have imagined, you’d need to enroll in a training program.

Patient Care Technician Classes

The best training courses are usually offered through colleges or universities that have accreditation.

Those who wish to enroll can choose from a variety of programs that offer the following credentials:

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Degree at the Associates’ level

The first two types of credentials can be earned in less than a year of classes.

The third type of credential is only available after at least 2 years of studying.

Courses can be taken either in-person or online.

The students who attend these courses might have to attend some extra classes before starting the actual program designed for patient care technicians.

These are some of the preparatory courses:

  • Computer basics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Terminology
  • Math fundamentals
  • CPR and first aid

The actual training program will have subjects such as:

  • Phlebotomy
  • Infection control
  • Specific systems pathology
  • Drawing blood
  • Inserting catheters
  • Monitoring and recording bodily functions
  • Patient safety
  • Basic care

Enrolling in these classes usually involves having to attend some practice training in a clinical setting.

If the program doesn’t offer practice classes, you’d have to find something on your own.

The Costs for Patient Care Tech Courses

Everyone knows that the training is not free of charge.

However, how much you’ll have to pay for your course will depend on a series of factors.

The Costs for Becoming a Patient Care Technician

These factors include: 

  • The duration of the program
  • How are the classes made available:
    • In-person
    • Online
  • What the tuition covers
    • Lab hours
    • Study material
    • Exam
  • Where the school is located
  • The school’s prestige
  • Your original location:
    • In-state
    • Out-of-state
  • Number of credits

Everyone knows that most prestigious universities cost much more than community colleges, or adult training centers.

You might think that very high tuition is impossible to pay, but there are some alternatives to somehow lower the amount.

You can consider getting a scholarship or looking into programs that offer reimbursement for your tuition.

You may also be split the costs by semester and not pay everything at once.

Many students are known for accumulating very large amounts of student loans they need to pay back.

Luckily, becoming a PCT doesn’t have to be this way.

You probably already know that attending even a 2-year course in a university can be quite expensive.

In addition to that, you will also need to pay for your school books and other materials that you may need.

Breakdown Example for the Education Cost of a Patient Care Technician

For instance, the PCT program at the Atlantic Technical College in Florida costs $1,680.

The lab hours cost $120 extra, you’ll also have to pay a non-refundable fee of $40 per semester.

You’ll have to take and pay for a basic skills test.

This test costs $15, but luckily this is a one-time fee.

Students are expected to have insurance as well.

One is for liability and you’ll pay $13 per year for it.

The other one is for health and accidents, and this one costs $47 per year and is requested if you don’t already have such insurance.

Students in the patient care tech program will need to wear a uniform too, which can be found at the school’s bookstore.

The final cost for this 600 hours-long course is $2,044, not including the uniform.

You can also cut from some of the tuition expenses by attending an online program instead of a physical one.

However, online programs can charge about $68 per month.

These programs can last for as little as 4 months.

This will give you the opportunity to have a job at the same time.

Like this, paying for your education will be easier.

Patient Care Technician Salary

Maybe you are also wondering how much you will earn after earning your degree and getting your license.

There are more and more job openings for patient care technicians all over the nation.

As this profession becomes more in demand, the salaries also tend to increase.

You will get a higher salary if you have a patient care tech certification.

This is also the case if you have a college degree or other credentials.

You can earn more if you choose to become a travel patient care tech.

This position will have you commuting to where the patient is located, as opposed to working at a given address.

Patient care techs who live in populated cities also earn more compared to those residing in remote areas.

So, you might want to consider relocating in order to get the job you want.

When you first start, you will get paid less than more experienced patient care techs.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the average patient care tech earns about $15.50 per hour.

But, if you are a top patient care technician, you can earn up to $42,000 or even more.

Conclusion

If you want to start a career as a patient care technician, there will be some costs involved.

However, keep in mind that by taking a course and getting licensed, you will make an investment in your career.

The medical field is one of the few ones where you can make back the money for the tuition at a rather fast pace.

Remember this occupation is perfect for those who don’t mind but actually enjoy helping others.

This is also a job filled with opportunities to build a career or that allows you to switch the area of activity if you so choose.


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