PCA vs CNA - page 2

by Cryssi

33,396 Views | 18 Comments

I was just wondering what is the difference between a PCA (Patient Care Assistant) and a CNA? One of the local hospitals has an employment listing on their website, and one of the qualifications the ask for is that the person be... Read More


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    In CA a CNA has a license from the state. A PCA can work without a license. Usually a PCA is a second semester or later nursing student who has had sufficient training to complete the job skills. At my hospital I can do everything a CNA does under my title as a PCA and I've worked in all areas of the hospital, from Med Surg to ICU to ER. Part of my orientation and training was completing competencies on things like d/c a Foley, collect a clean catch urine specimen, so the hospital knows I am as competent as a CNA with a license.

    It sounds like the hospital you looked at calls all of their aides "PCAs" to reduce the confusion. Personally, I wish they were called PCTs because a PCA is also Patient Controlled Analgesia. As much fun as it would be, I cannot dispense morphine at the click of a button.
    ORnurseCT likes this.
  2. 0
    In Oklahoma CNA is certified by the health dept. and PCT/AUA takes state boards. The main differences that I am aware of are that CNA's are not trained past ADL skills whereas my PCT course taught those skills pluse EKG, Phlebotomy, Trach and NG care, and placement and removal of foley catheters.
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    A PCA/PCT is basically just a CNA in the hospital setting. Every hospital calls us something different. Sometimes it even changes with the department. Anyways, we are allowed to do a few more things than your typical CNA working in LTC. I love my job and you will learn alot in the hospital that will better prepare you to become a nurse.
  4. 0
    Quote from psu_213
    I have read on here that in some states, CNAs are actually 'licensed.' In my state they are not licensed, they are certified. It is one my pet peeves when someone says "oh, I have to renew my CNA license." But, I digress... Usually no certification is required for a PCA/PCT. Here PCAs do not work in LTC...CNAs do. PCAs can work in assisted living and in hospitals.
    I was a CNA in my state (NY), and lost my license because I left the nursing home and became employed at my area hospital, where my title now is Sr.PCA. I practically perform the same duties as I did working as a CNA in the nursing home with one addition of checking blood sugar levels via glucometers on patients. I was hired on the rehab unit where we had patients for months in recovery from different kind of injuries, so my experience will be different from PCAs who work on maternity or the ED, etc. The hospital does not require a license to work there though they do prefer to hire CNAs with previous experience or anyone with some kind of entry level medical background or education. You have to do a 1 month training once you're hired. In order for me to have maintain my license as a CNA I had to put in @ least 7 hours of work @ a nursing home within the past 2 years prior to my expiration date....... and might I add, I found working in the nursing home to be 10x harder than the hospital. I would always recommend that if you can, avoid the nursing homes when doing this type of work.
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    @ kharris719..........Agreed.
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    in the state of ohio, cna's are certified nursing assistants and you must take your state test and pass to get registered in the nurse registry to become a state tested nursing assistant. if you are only a cna, u can wpork in some LTCF and assisted lving and also homecare. if u pass your stna test (clinical and written) then u can work in LTCF and hospitals and make a little more. in indiana i know that they only do cna and u make what a stna soes in ohio per hour. in ohio if u are a stna for 1 yr or more you can work in a hospital and be a pca(patient care assistant). at a hospital they give you spr training and capillary puncture training and other training as required to do your job. at most nursing homes a cpr healthcare provider course is not required or even offered by a facility cuz it is not needed but at a hospital you are. if in ohio, your best bet in my oppinion is to get certified as a cna then go do your state test and become a stna and get experience at a LTCF and keep up on your cpr healthcare provider certification ($95 at red cross or through job for free if offered) and do practice tests for medical terminology online and cpr practice tests online and to keep your skills fresh and make friends in the field and get their email and phone numbers as u go for references and use that to get a job in a hospital to make the most money with the trainng you have and then take all the traing you can at the hospital and advance your skills to do more and make more.
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    No CNA in any state is actually licensed. The word "licensure" has very very specific legal implications. An MD, RN, LPN can all be legally held responsible to their licenses and can be brought into criminal court for allegations of malpractice. As a CNA, you have a certificate, and (unlike doctors or licensed nurses) are not a practioner of any kind.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
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    @jean937 you totally confused me with your post +& I live in cleveland, oh. Nursing homes will not hire you without your stna license...there is no difference between can +& stna...just different terms like lvn\lpn. Most nursing home and homehealth agencies around here do require cpr cert +& it is usually included in the stna class
  9. 0
    Hair dressers, security guards, and daycare workers aren't providers either but they have a license.


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