How to become a PCT?

  1. I'm taking a CNA class this summer and was wondering how to become a PCT after I become a CNA? I really want to land a job on a med/surg floor at a hospital or in the ER. Is there some kind of continuing education I would need to receive? I've also heard that the hospitals will provide this education for you? I guess I'm just confused on how the process works! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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    About maddiem

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 235; Likes: 75
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  3. by   msmaggiemo
    Patient Care Technician Vs. CNA


    I think this is a picture of Anjus Chiedozie.
    He had written for Georgetown Research College News and The Washington Post's Express as well as writing at Demand Studios, while he is also the copy editor at a Newswire company.
    According to Anjus Chiedozie's article for called "Patient Care Technician Vs. CNA," PCT and CNA are interchangeable because they are "the same type of profession."

    They are both extremely important in the nursing field and are both responsible for patients.

    PCTs are responsible for drawing blood, taking vital signs and helping nurses and doctors conduct diagnostic tests and assist doctors as well as nurses, like a Medical Assistant (MA). CNAs are not required to do those things, but can be trained by their LPN or RN to do those tasks.

    Psychiatric aides usually make around $27,000.
    Home health aides make about $23,000.
    So a PCT and CNA make around the same amount, usually around 30k.
  4. by   mshaffer16
    I started by taking a CNA certification course, and got hired as a PCT, now I am a student extern since I will graduate from an RN program in December.

    Essentially, the job for CNA and PCT are the same. The job roles for PCT varies based on where you work. My hospital does not allow PCT's to do blood draws or start IV's, but I know other PCT's at other hospitals who do. You do not have to be a CNA to get a PCT job, but if you don't have experience (like me), it's a way to get a foot in the door since PCT's usually require experience.

    I don't know about your area, but around here it takes either a really good resume or knowing someone to get on in a hospital.

    I wish the PCT/CNA salary quoted above were really true! Around here, they start around $10/hr, so you would make less than $20K. Of course, that doesn't include overtime.

    Good luck!
  5. by   AnthoScott
    It really depends on where you live and the rules set forth by the state, hospital, and/or specific unit you are applying to work on. In my case, PCTs are required to be licensed as a CNA, OR be in their second semester of a nursing program (But in order to be in a nursing program, you have to have a CNA, so this is kind of moot). After I got my CNA, I went to work in a skilled nursing facility in order to pass the time while I applied to local hospitals in the area. After about six months, I finally landed a job in a Med/Telemetry unit (a job I had applied for once before). On my unit, we are responsible for taking blood sugars, managing feeding tubes (changing the bag and tubing, I/Os, etc.), removing IVs and foley catheters, and PICC dressing changes, all of which required on-the-job training and yearly skill pass-off. It is a fun and rewarding job and I wish you the best of luck!
  6. by   caskey09
    congrats on going for your CNA!! I start mine next tuesday and am very excited. I have the exact same career goals as you...and have been looking online and doing research for some time now. The class that I am taking is paid for thru a specialty LTC facility and they pay you for training and certification and you are hired immediately! Try doing your class that way...will save a lot of money in the long run. It took me forever to give up my job as a manager at subway but I finally got miserable enough to push me to go for my dreams. Having my classes paid for and having a job right after was an amazing opportunity for me. I know majority of LTC facilities do pay for the classes, as well as many hospitals. That way you could get in even if at first as a CNA. Just call around and research like I did! I plan to do the CNA for a year or so before going for phlebotomy to give me an advantage to get into a hospital versus just having my CNA certification. I wish you luck on your journey.
    PS. (most facilities offer these classes monthly, and there are websites that show you locally for your area who offers the classes as well as their contact information.)
  7. by   AM326
    Usually being a CNA will get you in the door as a PCT...but some hospitals prefer candidates that have phlebotomy experience and EKG experience. Many times, if you have experience as a CNA in a LTC facility, they will teach you the phlb/ekg skills depending what unit you will work. But that's rare to come by. Normally a reg med/surg floor normally would not require PCTs to have those skills. For the ER/CDU/ICU/CCU floors they WANT you to have those skills.

    If you can grab a job at a hosp as a in that unit for 6-12 months and then let them know you would like to cross train to the specialty units, they would then train you

    I hope this helps some and best of luck to you!
  8. by   MommaTy
    Where I live in Massachusetts there is no special schooling for PCT. You get your CNA work in long term care to get experience then apply to hospitals where they will teach you those skills. Which here is inserting/removing foley catheters, EKGs, some will teach blood draws. You may get lucky and try applying for PCT positions that will take a new CNA (you don't know unless you apply). But I know the hospital near me won't take new CNAs. Good luck to you.