How to Become a PCT in Washington

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There are many people who want to work in the medical field, and luckily, there are many positions to choose from.

One of the easiest to prepare for is that of a patient care technician.

Read this guide if you’re interested in becoming a PCT in Washington.

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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 Washington

Perhaps you don’t know what a patient care tech is.

Most of the time, these professionals and certified nurse aides have almost interchangeable positions.

CNAs, however, cannot work unsupervised, unlike PCTs.

It’s common for PCTs to be in charge of:

  • Bathing and feeding 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

Of course, many times they’ll have to complete additional duties.

Patient Care Technician Job Requirements in Washington

Depending on your background, meeting the job requirements for a patient care technician is not very difficult.

Most of the time, the ideal candidates for this position:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have good communication skills
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Are compassionate
  • Have a clean criminal background
  • Are certified
  • Have physical stamina
  • Are listed in the Washington Nurse Aide Registry
  • Have experience in the field

Many employers could ask for additional criteria to be met.

Patient Care Technician Education in Washington

The Registry, and even many employers, require PCTs to have received specific training.

Training will not only teach you the theory aspect of the job, but also the skills you need for it.

The schools from Washington that have such courses are listed below.

Top 3 Schools in Washington

School NameAddress
Edmonds Community College20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036
Seattle Central Community College1701 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA 98195

If these schools are not enough to choose from, you can look at the colleges from any other state.

One should remember there are at least 3 diplomas to choose from:

  • Certificate
  • Associates’ degree
  • Bachelors’ degree

Many people who choose to become patient care techs, opt for the certificate program as it has a shorter duration.

Those who opt for an Associate’s degree have more career opportunities later down the line.

When you apply for a spot in these programs, you’ll be asked to:

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

Students cannot skip any of the practice hours included in the chosen program.

Here are some of the classes common across all the courses available:

  • 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 Washington

To earn the certification employers prefer, you must pass an exam.

The exam is offered by the National Health Association.

You can sign up for it if you:

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

The test has a duration of almost 2 hours and it consists of a total of 120 questions.

Patient Care Technician Employment and Salary in Washington

There is a strong demand for patient care techs all across the nation, therefore finding a job will be easy.

These are the facilities that are in need of PCTs the most:

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

PCTs in Washington have a median salary of $36,471 per year.

Salaries can be higher for those working in Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Patient Care Technicians in Washington

City NameSalary
Federal Way$36,212
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Washington

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA690$40,610$19.52$45,560$35,850
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA850$40,390$19.42$46,320$34,040
Kennewick-Richland, WA940$37,350$17.96$45,270$31,860
Longview, WA490$40,140$19.3$45,710$36,340
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA410$41,190$19.8$46,100$37,450
Olympia-Tumwater, WA950$41,760$20.08$49,770$34,850
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA15,890$44,520$21.4$53,040$37,750
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA2,500$38,640$18.58$45,940$32,500
Walla Walla, WA360$38,910$18.71$45,450$35,260
Wenatchee, WA400$37,170$17.87$46,240$31,390
Yakima, WA1,050$38,730$18.62$44,160$33,800
* 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 Washington

Here are the main resources you could find useful at some point during your journey as a PCT:

  • Washington Nurse Aide Registry
  • National Health Association
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