With patient care technician certification you can make a start in a career in health care and feel a sense of achievement in your job. Patient care technicians (PCTs) work under doctors or nurses in clinic, hospital, home and nursing facility settings. They perform routine tasks such as applying dressings to wounds, drawing blood, doing electrocardiograms (EKGs), and moving and caring for patients.
If you are interested in working in the medical industry, but you don’t have the time or the desire to become a doctor, you might consider getting a PCT certification. This page has further details of this field and the programs, both on-campus and by online and distance learning, that can lead to certification. You might also want to check out the Nurse Aide programs.
How do you get patient care technician certification?
In order to be a successful PCT, a person must love caring for people, and have the patience to interact with them on a regular basis throughout the day. Given that patients are often sick and frustrated, a PCT must be able to handle a certain amount of stress that is imposed by their job. There are also physical demands, such as the ability to move patients that cannot move themselves, and stand on their feet for long periods of time.
PCTs are trained in college, usually community colleges, although some are trained in four-year colleges and some by the military. Sometimes the program grants a degree, sometimes an educational certificate. Generally, the program is short, ranging from less than six months to about two years. Many people enter a PCT program in order to attain job skills and certification in their desired field, and then eventually return to school to become an LVN or RN.
Typically, patient care technician classes include general patient care skills classes, phlebotomy and EKG technician courses, and practical experience. The prerequisites to the program usually include CPR/First Aid, some type of human biology, and other classes such as medical terminology and more, depending on the institute the program is taken at.
What are the career prospects with PCT certification?
There are a wide range of jobs available to a PCT. Some require additional training, completion of a patient care technician test and licensing, and some do not. Certified nurses aides, who are a type of PCT, must take 75 hours of state-approved training and complete an exam in order to be licensed. Different states have different requirements for certain jobs. For the widest range of career prospects, the National Health Care Association offers a chance to take their exam and become a certified patient care technician, or CPCT.
Depending on where the PCT works, there a numerous tasks that they may be called on to do. In a clinic, they may perform mostly medical and clerical tasks, while those that work in hospital or nursing homes will also perform basic care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and moving patients. There are a number of titles that a PCT might hold, including nursing assistant, health care assistant, nurse’s aide, clinical support associate, and more.
As the health industry expands, so does the demand for PCTs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 18% growth rate in the field of nursing and psychiatric assistants, a category which PCTs fall into. There is predicted to be a greater increase in the demand for nursing assistants or PCTs than for psychiatric assistants, with a growth rate of about 19% between 2008 and 2018 in that area of the field.
PCTs earned a median wage of $11.46 an hour in May 2008. The middle 50% of those employed as PCTs made between $9.17 and $13.76 an hour. Those employed in hospitals and employment services made the most, while those employed as home health care assistants and community care facility assistants made the least.
List of schools and programs
- Provides the healthcare knowledge & technical skills students need to get ahead
- SACS accredited with campuses in VA, FL, NC, SC & flexible online & on-campus courses
- US News & World Report ranks Online Bachelor’s Programs among top 10%
- Supportive learning atmosphere with small class sizes & plenty of academic support
- Qualifying students can take faith in EPCI’s unwavering Fixed Tuition Pledge
- Medical Assisting - Associate's
- Dental Assisting - Associate's
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
- No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
- AA: Medical Office Assistance
- BS in Health Sciences
- MA Human Services: Health & Wellness
- Earn your AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online from Penn Foster College.
- Graduates of our vet tech program will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) in order to be credentialed as a licensed veterinary technician.
- At only $85 per credit with low monthly payment plans and 0% interest, our vet tech program is one of the most affordable programs in the country.
- Penn Foster College’s award-winning Veterinary Academy Team includes licensed veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians with over 100+ years of experience teaching vet tech students.
- Over 160 students graduated from Penn Foster College’s Vet Tech program in 2016, more than any other program in the country.
- Penn Foster College’s 24/7, on-demand learning platform is easy to use – at home or on the go – and you decide when to start and take your classes.
- Veterinary Technician
- Medical Billing and Coding
Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.
Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.
- A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
- Diploma - Medical Office Billing Specialist