Dear Nurse Beth,
I am currently a level 3 nursing student. I work prn nights as a PCT at a local hospital. I always dread going to work on the nights I'm scheduled. I don't like going. While I'm there I do my job well. The patients and the nurses I work with always pay me compliments. But I really do not like the job. Should I stick it out another 10 months? I have been at the hospital 7 months, is that enough experience to put on my resume once I graduate and start looking for a nursing job?
Dear Does Not Like PCT Job,
Working as a PCT as a nursing student is really not about PCT resume experience. It’s about your future employment as an RN.
The benefit of working as a PCT is being visible and making connections- networking. Networking to ensure your future new grad RN job. Look at every shift worked as an investment in your future.
Nursing students who apply for new grad positions and are already employees are way ahead of the game.
It’s not the PCT experience as much as the insider advantage. Nursing managers want to hire someone like yourself, who has done a good job, who gets along with her/his co-workers, and who is a good fit.
Work fewer shifts if you like, but introduce yourself to the charge nurses and nurse manager. “Hi, I’ll be graduating soon and would love an opportunity to work on this unit.” You want to be seen as a future RN (which you are).
I hope this motivates you to hang in there, keep going, the end is in sight.
Oct 21, '15
I too worked as a PCT while in nursing school. My program went year round so I only worked nights around my school schedule. I went the manager of the department that I wanted to work in after graduation and talked to her about my schooling and my desire to work in the ER. I had a job waiting when I graduated. I graduated on a Friday and the following Monday I began my new career in the department of my choice. I never felt that any of the work I did was beneath me, I made friends with the night shift workers and I learned how hard it is to be a PCT in an ER. Ever after I became a nurse it was never beneath me to strip a bed or clean a room between patients (if I had time).
Could you be unhappy on the unit you are working on? Maybe you need to float between units and you may find one that you do like. Perhaps that will help you decide the area that you want to specialize in and give you a more definite goal. However if you do not like working with the patients then you might want to rethink your career choice. Being a PCT is not your end goal but is a stepping stone to that goal.
Last edit by Dragonnurse1 on Oct 21, '15
: Reason: spelling, grammer X2