Getting a PCA job

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    I am trying to get some career advice. I have just finished my PhD in Neuroscience and am applying to PA programs. In the meantime, I would like to get a job in a hospital setting, but I have very little experience. To get a PCA job, do I need to get certified? Is a PCA job what I should go after or should I go for a CNA? Thanks in advance.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    You typically only need to be certified to work in long-term care. I took the course as part of my pre-nursing curriculum but never got certified. I have worked as a PCA without a problem. However, the certification will certainly help you land that first job in the hospital and without any prior training/knowledge of the skills required, your chances of being hired aren't too high.
  5. 0
    I think it's different in different states, but for me, I took a CNA course and got a job as a PCA. I would check out the requirements for a PCA or CNA job where you would be applying in order to see what your mode of study/preparation should be.
    Last edit by blackbird singing on Aug 16, '11
  6. 0
    The OP wants to go to PA school and most PA schools either require or highly recommend hands on patient care experience. If you aren't licensed in any health care field, PCA is your only real option. I think that is amazing. Regardless of what the requirements are, I just think the odds are slim that the OP will get hired into a PCA role with no previous experience or training. Possibility is always there! Never hurts to start applying.
  7. 0
    Thank you. I just got my PhD from Ohio State University. I started volunteering at OSU, but I'm just wondering if I need to spend $500 to get a CNA. I'm thinking that I should. Thank you.
  8. 0
    I would start applying to OSU as a PCA and Psychiatric Care Tech (same job, different areas). Then euroscience would definteily help with the psych. I just got a job as a PCT at OSU and it was because of my undergrad degree from OSU in psychology/neuroscience. Also apply to any PSA job at OhioHealth and any PCA or MST job at OSU. Your cheapest option (although no the fastest) is probably to take NURC 101 at Columbus State. In Ohio, they don't call them "certified nursing assistants." Ohio calls them "STNAs (State-Testing Nurses Assistants).
  9. 0
    Oh hey, OSU! I just graduated from there, too. I took my CNA at Premier Choice... it was the cheapest in the city from what I found.

    I do know that without this class, and with only volunteering experience in the hospital as I did for 4 years, I would not have this job. All the PCA jobs get hundreds of applicants, so without the class, there is not a good chance you will get hired. And good luck getting a job at OSU. I don't know if you are even going to apply there, but I've heard you have to have close connections to get a foot in the door.
  10. 0
    Quote from blackbird singing
    I do know that without this class, and with only volunteering experience in the hospital as I did for 4 years, I would not have this job. All the PCA jobs get hundreds of applicants, so without the class, there is not a good chance you will get hired. And good luck getting a job at OSU. I don't know if you are even going to apply there, but I've heard you have to have close connections to get a foot in the door.
    It's true. You have to know someone and be recommended internally as well. I spent 4 years applying to OSUMC and was always rejected right away. Then I made friends with a girl in nursing school who recommended me to her boss and next thing I knew I was hired. Get connections while volunteering!!!
  11. 0
    It is always better to take some certification courses in PCA from a reputed institute. My friend also had the same problem and after completing his PCA course from a reputed institute in Melbourne, he was on his track....


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