PCA and Nurse Aide, what's the difference | allnurses

PCA and Nurse Aide, what's the difference

  1. 0 Hello All Willing to Read,
    I am new to Nursing but have been attending college for some time, I let the military get in the way of it. Anyway, I would like to know if there is a real difference in PCA and Nurse Aide. A local health care office offers PCA or I can take two classes through my current college for Nurse Aide. Want to weigh my options as far as the knowledge I would gain, not necessarily the pay. Thanks if anyone decides to respond.


    Signed
    ConstantLearner
  2. Visit  ConstantLearner2010 profile page

    About ConstantLearner2010

    ConstantLearner2010 has '1' year(s) of experience. From 'Fredericksburg'; Joined Oct '10; Posts: 11; Likes: 4.

    13 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  kenpochic profile page
    0
    i dunno i dont think there is much of the difference. you assist the nurse (RN) in the stuff she doesnt have time for or things that will free up her time thats in your scope of practice. i know at the hospital pca give bed baths, vital signs, change beds and patients.
  4. Visit  KareBear0609 profile page
    0
    CNA's are found mostly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc. They do things such as vitals and assisting (or doing - depending on the abilities of the resident) with activities of daily living. It is usually a one semester class that is divided up between lecture and clinicals. The pay can range anywhere from $8.00-$14.00 per hour (of course, this can vary). The work is hard and the job is thankless. But the experience is good.

    PCT's have a better chance of getting in at a hospital. They do what CNA's do except they are also trained in blood draws, EKG's, and a few other minor nursing duties. The pay is usually (again, this can vary) more than a CNA. I can't give you a ballpark range because I am not a PCT but I do know someone who is working in the ER at a local hospital and she is making $22/hour at 19 years old!
  5. Visit  2ndyearstudent profile page
    0
    Quote from KareBear0609
    PCT's have a better chance of getting in at a hospital.
    Your comments are accurate but the OP asked about PCA (Personal Care Attendant in my area), not PCT.
  6. Visit  2ndyearstudent profile page
    0
    Quote from ConstantLearner2010
    Want to weigh my options as far as the knowledge I would gain, not necessarily the pay.
    Yes, there is a real difference, depending on what state you are in. I would advise the CNA (Nurse's Aide) route if you want to become a nurse. Many PCAs I have seen don't actually perform any ADLs, but rather help with cooking, homemaking and safety supervision. They can still make decent money and get good experience but if you are looking for experience and knowledge, go CNA.
  7. Visit  Boog'sCRRN246 profile page
    1
    Here's my take: I've been employed in both capacities. I took a four week CNA course (no phlebotomy or EKG training) and after passing my state certification test, got a job as a PCT at a major teaching hospital. Received on the job training in phlebotomy/EKG/etc. After relocating, I was then hired at another hospital as a PCA (patient care assistant). Again, received facility-specific training in phlebotomy/EKG/etc.

    What's my point? In my experience, they are the exact same thing. In order to be hired, I, of course, needed to have a CNA certificate, but each facility provided whatever training I needed to do the job and I just had a fancier title.
    Stellabells22 likes this.
  8. Visit  Sart45 profile page
    0
    I am a C.NA with a license (went through the program and took state boards). I work at a hospital; the term PCA and C.NA are interchangeable where I work; we all do the same thing (vitals, change beds,give showers, take patients to bathroom, take blood sugars as needed, remove peripheral IV's when patients leave, etc.) and make the same amount of money...which isn't much!
  9. Visit  KareBear0609 profile page
    0
    Quote from 2ndyearstudent
    Your comments are accurate but the OP asked about PCA (Personal Care Attendant in my area), not PCT.
    Oh sorry. I thought PCA was patient care assistant which is the same thing as PCT (patient care technician) in my area.
  10. Visit  happy2learn profile page
    0
    PCA and PCT are the same thing in my state. And they work in hospitals. They are able to do more than nurse aides. They get paid more.

    CNA/STNA/Nurse Aide's work in nursing homes in my state.
  11. Visit  happy2learn profile page
    0
    Quote from 2ndyearstudent
    Yes, there is a real difference, depending on what state you are in. I would advise the CNA (Nurse's Aide) route if you want to become a nurse. Many PCAs I have seen don't actually perform any ADLs, but rather help with cooking, homemaking and safety supervision. They can still make decent money and get good experience but if you are looking for experience and knowledge, go CNA.
    Clearly we don't live in the same area because I've never heard of or seen a PCA/PCT cook and do "homemaking." The one's I know do ADL's and even more than CNA's as they are allowed to do more than CNA's. CNA's in my state work in nursing homes. In my state, being a PCA/PCT is better experience than a CNA/STNA/Nurse Aide as you are exposed to more things than you would be in a nursing home.
  12. Visit  2ndyearstudent profile page
    0
    Quote from happy2learn
    Clearly we don't live in the same area because I've never heard of or seen a PCA/PCT cook and do "homemaking." The one's I know do ADL's and even more than CNA's as they are allowed to do more than CNA's. CNA's in my state work in nursing homes. In my state, being a PCA/PCT is better experience than a CNA/STNA/Nurse Aide as you are exposed to more things than you would be in a nursing home.
    They key here is in the original post. She said, " A local health care office offers PCA..."

    A "local health care office" that also does CNA training does not sound like Tech training, it sounds more like personal attendant in assisted living type duties, not phlebotomy, ECG.

    Now, if the OP can get Tech type training at the place she mentions, obviously go for it.
  13. Visit  happy2learn profile page
    0
    There are small offices that do PCA/PCT training by me, however, they are run by a college. It's a 40 hour course. You have to already be a CNA/STNA before you can enroll.

    In my state, PCA =Personal Care Associate/Assistants and they are the same as PCT's.

    The PCA's I know work in the Emergency Department and they do the same tasks as CNA's and then more tasks. They have advanced training above CNA's. They are not attendants for just ADL's.
  14. Visit  2ndyearstudent profile page
    0
    Quote from happy2learn
    There are small offices that do PCA/PCT training by me, however, they are run by a college. It's a 40 hour course. You have to already be a CNA/STNA before you can enroll.

    In my state, PCA =Personal Care Associate/Assistants and they are the same as PCT's.

    The PCA's I know work in the Emergency Department and they do the same tasks as CNA's and then more tasks. They have advanced training above CNA's. They are not attendants for just ADL's.
    Even in your state, I am guessing that the P stands for Patient and not Personal. That may be the difference between a Tech and someone who helps with ADLs. This would also beg the question, "What do they call people who do ADL/homemaking/Assisted Living duties in your state if they are not Personal Care Attendants (PCA)?

    If you go back to the OP: in your interpretation, she doesn't have a choice between PCA or CNA, she cannot get your version of a PCA cert without having a CNA first. However, it is very common to be able to choose between CNA and (the ADL version) Personal Care Attendant.


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