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This is a discussion on Frustrated with finding job. in Patient Care Technician / Assistants (PCT/PCA), part of Nursing Student ... I just need to vent!!!! I am waiting on nursing school to start. My original plan was to get my EMT...by bethanphetamine Jun 29, '12I just need to vent!!!! I am waiting on nursing school to start. My original plan was to get my EMT and get some experience in emergency medicine, hoping that would make it easier for me to get into ER/ICU once I'm done with nursing school. I obtained my EMT-B this past January. I have been applying to jobs such as EMT, CNA, PCT at multiple hospitals and organizations with not even so much as a call in for an interview. I'm in the East Valley of the Phoenix area, but I've been applying to anything even in downtown Phoenix -- pretty much anything that I can find within a 50 mile radius.
I have awesome grades, but not much experience in the medical field on my resume. I have been a stay at home mom for a while and my work history is sporadic from the fast few years. I know this hurts me, but we haven't been able to afford putting the kids in day care. I have signed up to volunteer at a local hospital, but short of stalking all the HR managers (which I doubt would actually help) I have no idea what else to do. Am I doing something wrong? Is there some trick to landing a tech or CNA job? I need a job for my sanity.
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- Jun 29, '12 by ScarlettzMany hospitals require that you have at least one or two clinical semesters for a PCT job. I think it is great that you are looking early.. I wish I had done this! I started looking for a PCT job in October and have yet to be contacted for an interview. I think the volunteering is a nice idea until you have gainedome clinical experience. Brush up your resume, acquire new skills, network, work hard in clinical, and gather references from clinical instructors. I especially suggest networking and getting to know the nursing manager at the facilities you rotate within.
I never wanted to believe it true, but many people get their jobs because of someone they know. That is why I find it important to get to know people. Apparently, that is what gets you noticed.
- Jun 30, '12 by funtimesAre you also a CNA? If you're just an EMT this might be the problem. EMT is the bare minimum you need to work on an ambulance, but its not really of much, or any value to working in a hospital. Some EDs require it to be an ER tech, but its not considered to be of any value outside the ER. More important is getting your CNA, which gives you experience in more relevant skills, and is required by many hospitals.
Getting your CNA also opens up LTC jobs, which might not be anyones dream job, but beggers cant be choosers. I work on Med/surg, but I find RNs I work with that were aides in LTC are the easiest to work with, they will often knock out total care on many of their patients without being asked because they became so efficient at it doing LTC.
Im also an EMT, when I was interviewing for my hospital job they didnt even mention it, and when I brought it up they said oh yeah I read that on your application, thats nice, but this job is a lot different. What they wanted was CNA experience.
- Jun 30, '12 by bethanphetamineI know different areas are different, and I have thought that maybe getting my CNA would be a help. I was told that, here, EMTs are considered to be a higher level of training than CNA. I was also told that with an EMT cert you can work as a PCT and CNA, though I have had trouble verifying this (not really sure who to ask). Ideally, I would like to work as an ER tech or on an ambulance, and have been applying to those as well, but those are fairly coveted jobs here since they pay more. I haven't been able to get an interview, so I have been applying to PCT and CNA jobs too. I have still thought about getting my CNA or phlebotomy cert. It certainly couldn't hurt. I just have to find a school that offers those nearby and with a schedule that works for me.
- Jun 30, '12 by CinDRnycQuote from bethanphetamineHi Beth,I know different areas are different, and I have thought that maybe getting my CNA would be a help. I was told that, here, EMTs are considered to be a higher level of training than CNA. I was also told that with an EMT cert you can work as a PCT and CNA, though I have had trouble verifying this (not really sure who to ask). Ideally, I would like to work as an ER tech or on an ambulance, and have been applying to those as well, but those are fairly coveted jobs here since they pay more. I haven't been able to get an interview, so I have been applying to PCT and CNA jobs too. I have still thought about getting my CNA or phlebotomy cert. It certainly couldn't hurt. I just have to find a school that offers those nearby and with a schedule that works for me.
Just wanted to let you know that I am a month away of finishing the CNA course at Mesa Community College. I believe that they offer it every semester, costs about $550. I think they also offer it at Gateway too. Honestly even though you have your EMT, I think CNA is much better in terms of getting a PCT job. My reasoning is because CNA work shows the ability to prioritize direct patient care. I don't really know what doing "EMT work" consists of but from my experience so far as a CNA in Clinicals, it is definitely worth doing.
All my clinical instructors tell me it is the best thing to do to get a foot in the door. I live in Chandler, hit me up if you have any questions :redpinkhe
- Jun 30, '12 by funtimesI could be wrong, but I think its an actual legal requirement to be a CNA to work as an aide in LTC, since they have state CNA registrys used to record whether someone has an abuse or neglect finding against them. Ive never heard of a non CNA working as an aide at a SNF or some other LTC facility, at least not in the last decade or so when rules became more strict. I think hospitals also have different rules because you can work under a physicians license
I think a lot of ER techs are CNAs that transferred from another part of the hospital, since most hospitals give preference to current employees whenever a position opens up. Just like its hard to get a PCT job unless you have CNA experience, its hard to get an ER tech job with no experience, unless you know someone who has some pull or you just get lucky and make a hell of an impression during an interview.
Being an EMT basic is of limited value since they have no phlebotomy or ECG training. When I was interviewing at hospitals, none of them ever showed any interest in my EMT training, only when I had actual 911 experience did they see it as being a plus.Last edit by funtimes on Jun 30, '12
- Jul 5, '12 by duskyjewelHmmm, I am so curious now... because I live in the same area you do! I currently work as a full-time CNA in a hospital. There are PCT jobs advertised in this hospital system too, but almost every ad, whether for ED tech, NA, PCT, or even HUCs now, they want CNA certification. A guy who currently works as an ED tech at my hospital even told me, when I asked whether I should pursue it or not, that EMT-B isn't needed or even desired to become an ED tech. CNA certification can get you in, but I am sure already having phlebotomy and EKG skills helps alot, which most CNAs don't.
I wanted to offer you another option for getting certified as a CNA that won't take a whole semester. I went to Arizona Medical Training Institute, and they offer lots of options for CNA classes. They have a full time day class that only takes three weeks to complete. They also have evening classes which takes five weeks, and I took the weekend-only option, which takes six weeks to complete. The cost is $990, and includes all books and materials, uniform top, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, gait belt, and clinicals. I know I sound like an ad for them, but I just wanted you to know there is another option out there. For what you learn, I don't see any reason for it to take an entire semester. I checked them out before I signed up, and they have the highest first-time pass rate on state boards of any school in the state. And you can take your boards at their campus.
It took me three months of solid looking before I got a job. I had absolutely no health care experience. My last job was at a newspaper, and I also had the stay-at-home-mom-who-worked-part-time-on-and-off thing going on. I got a few interviews though, and I must have nailed the one for this job, because they hired me on the spot. However, I wonder if I got that interview because I used the name of a friend who got hired a couple months before me, through some connection she knew who worked here. I think, unfortunately, it is about who you know, both in healthcare in general, and in the Phoenix area. You live here, so you know how, even though it has grown so big, it still operates like a backwater little town too much of the time.
- Jul 5, '12 by bethanphetamineI know Dignity Health (CHW) requires that ED techs be EMTs. I know that Banner usually takes EMTs as well, but any new ED tech there goes through their own cert process.
I did get a job! I just got the call today. It's by no means ideal, but it's experience. It's at a drug rehab facility, and EMT is required. It pays better than most CNA or EMT jobs that I've found and I get to work 12 hour shifts, which I wanted, with opportunity for overtime. But it's a bit out of my way. I'll deal. It's something to put on a resume! And hopefully in the future, I won't be just browsed over because now I will have experience!
- Jul 6, '12 by duskyjewelOh wow! Congrats!