Patient Care Technician

Patient Care Technician (PCT) Training Programs

Become a valued member of the nursing team

Respiratory_TherapyPatient Care Technicians are certified nursing assistants with special advanced skills training including phlebotomy, glucose monitoring, EKG, urinary catheterization, sterile dressing changes various specimen collections, and sometimes respiratory care. Patient care technicians are an indispensable part of the nursing care team, with an expanding role in ensuring the well-being of patients. This occupation offers many rewards, including diversity, challenge, professional growth, and flexible work schedules. Training to become a Patient Care Technician is an excellent way to start a professional career in a rewarding healthcare environment, without having to spend years in school.

PCT’s are unlicensed assistants who work under the supervision of nursing or medical staff to provide basic patient care, including recording vital signs, height, weight, input output, collect and test specimens, report and record patients condition and patient treatments. Help patient with nutritional needs - check deliver food trays, assist with feeding the patient if necessary, and refill water and ice. Assist patients with their mobility - turn and positioning, do range of motion exercises, transferring patients to and from wheelchair, assist with ambulation. Patient Care Technicians are multi-skilled individuals who are trained to do much more than basic patient care however, so read on to learn more!

Expanded Duties Of A Patient Care Technician May Include:

In addition to performing basic Certified Nursing Assistant duties, Patient Care Technicians take additional training in Phlebotomy, EKG, and sometimes Respiratory Care. Expanded duties typically include setting up and operating therapeutic equipment and supplies, assisting doctors and nurses during examinations and treatments, blood draws, dressing changes, Foley catheterizations, do dressing changes, administer tube feedings, provide IV care, administer oxygen therapy, perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), basic laboratory procedures, phlebotomy, and create and document medical records. PCTs may also perform basic physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and occupational therapy and provide post surgical, rehabilitative and restorative assistance.

Patient Care Technician Training

PCT training programs vary in length from 4 months to two years depending on whether the program you choose awards a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree. Regardless of which training program you decide upon, Patient Care Technicians who are cross-trained enjoy much broader responsibilities and advancement opportunities in the clinical setting.

Most patient care technician certification programs combine the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) requirements with the PCT and both examinations may be taken upon completion of the program. Patient Care Technician programs typically consist of classroom, lab, and externships in a clinical setting. In addition to basic nursing skills in the CNA portion of the course, PCT's receive additional education in Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, Phlebotomy, Electrocardiogram, Bloodborne Pathogens, Emergency Oxygen Administration, Wound Care, CPR, and First Aid.

To graduate from a Patient Care Technician program you must successfully complete training in the following:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Phlebotomy
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Upon completion of Patient Care Technician training programs graduates will hold CNA certification and be qualified to sit for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, the National Certified Patient Care Technician (NCPCT), EKG Certification, and the Phlebotomy (NCPT) exam.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of patient care technicians is projected to grow 19% between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.

Opportunities for Advancement

Training as a Patient Care Technician is an excellent way to start a professional career in a rewarding healthcare environment, without having to spend years in school. Additionally, most healthcare employers encourage their employees to further their healthcare education and normally offer generous employer paid tuition assistance benefits. Getting your foot in the door as a Patient Care Technician could very well pave your way to pursuing higher education paid for by your employer without missing a paycheck while you do it. What better way to go on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, or pursue whatever your goal may be than by letting your employer help you do it while you earn a living in the process!

Find Patient Care Technician Training Programs Near You
Explore detailed listings of accredited schools that offer Patient Care Technician Training (or PCT Training programs) to find the Patient Care Technician program that best meets your needs. Get started today by selecting the schools that interest you and fill out the brief information request form to speak directly with Patient Care Technician program advisers.