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
Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment. As a student at Southern Technical College, you will have the opportunity learn in several different ways.
- Medical Assisting (Diploma)
- Diploma - Veterinary Assisting
Arizona College prepares students to work in the 'real world' of medicine. With the use of lecture and laboratory teaching, we provide our students with hands on experience.
- Medical Assisting
- Pharmacy Technician
- Dental Assisting
- And more...
Florida Technical College was founded in 1962 to provide post-secondary training in specialized business fields. The main campus in Orland opened in 1962, followed by the Lakeland campus in 1990, and the DeLand campus in 1997. Classes began at the Kissimmee, Pembroke Pines, and Tampa campuses in 2011, and the Cutler Bay campus opened in 2015.
- Medical Assistant Technician - Diploma
- Allied Health Management - Bachelor's Degree
- Medical Billing and Coding Specialist - Diploma
Sullivan University is Kentucky's largest private college or university, offering higher education for people with higher goals. At Sullivan University, we focus on in-demand programs that lead to successful careers. Whether you're a high school student considering college for the first time, an adult returning to school or someone seeking professional development, you'll be surprised at the variety and range of alternatives Sullivan University offers.
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
As the world is adjusting to new realities, we are prepared to help you work towards a successful future in a manner that is safer for you and the community at large. Here's how:
- We offer in-demand, career-focused education delivered through your local campus using live, interactive synchronous online delivery. There's also the flexibility to transition to an in-seat class environment once the current situation is resolved.
- Medical Assisting - Diploma
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- Medical Assisting
- Respiratory Therapy
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
- Bachelor of Science in Health Science
- Associate of Science in Medical Administrative Billing and Coding
At Florida Career College, our supportive faculty and staff are committed to helping you build a life and a future you can be proud of! We have dedicated financial aid representatives who will meet with you one-on one-to help you explore your payment options. Tutoring is available for when you need extra help and once it’s time to look for jobs, a dedicated career services representative will help you with your resume, interview skills and employer connections!
- Medical Assistant Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
- Patient Care Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
- Dental Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
- Medical Assistant
- Dental Assistant
- Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
We Are Focused On Your Success!
At Berks Technical Institute (BTI), your success is our priority. We are dedicated to helping you gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in a career you love. Our training programs are career-focused and taught by industry-experienced instructors in learning labs that can empower each of our students as they enter the job market.
- Medical Clinical Assistant - Diploma
- Dental Assisting - Associate in Specialized Technology
- Medical Billing and Coding - Diploma