Published Jul 24, 2009
I have a friend who went down to a tech school inquiring about enrolling in their Patient tech Course. She was planning on paying out of pocket and estimated she would spend 1-2 thousand; it turns out the school charges 9 grand. I think that is a little outrageous. Regardless of how these schools hawk it, a PCT is probably going to wind up working as CNA's in an LTC facility right out of school for about a year because hospitals tend not to hire without experience. I've heard tons of PCT's complain about their inability to land jobs in hospitals straight out of school so I know what the deal is there. My friend, being a single mother, is going to be hard pressed to pay back a $9000 student loan working as a CNA for a year. And even when she does get a job in a hospital I am still not sure the pay would be worth the cost of her loan. So I post this question in order to find out from other PCT's who paid for training if 9 grand really is the average cost for the course.
Can you be a little more clear on what duties this person would preform after dumping that much cabbage on a training program. There are paramedic programs that cost around the same but you have much more in the way of personnel marketing power as a paramedic. Please be very careful, there are programs that will gladly take your money but leave you with very few opportunities for employment. I work as pediatric ER tech, in some regions of the country the position is also known as a patient care technician. Let me know what the PCT position entails and I will try and give you some advice for your friend.
Well this particular program teaches all the duties of a CNA as well as providing EKG and Phlebotomy training. To the best of my knowledge EKG and Phleb training is what distinguishes a PCT from a CNA. The problem is the odds are just getting out of school with no experience my friend will probably wind up working as a CNA indefinitely in an LTC facility. The most I've heard of for a CNA course is $1000 and that's pretty unusual; most good CNA courses in my experience can be done for half that amount of money. So I just don't know if its really standard for a vocational program to charge an extra 8 grand just for EKG and Phleb training. If that's the national average for a PCT course then I guess there's nothing my friend can do about it...but I just wanted to know if there might be cheaper options out there before she gets herself into all that debt.
Most hospitals will teach ER techs EKG's during orientation to the department, this is only training to preform the test it does not give you the training to interpret the results. Phlebotomy is usually offered as a hospital based class, it is however becoming more common that states are requiring advanced level certification for phlebotomy. Is your friend interested in the emergency environment or leaning towards LTC or general CNA, also what area of the country is your friend looking for this training. I still don't like the sound of this "tech training" class at least not for 9K.
We're located in South Fl. She wants to work either as a CNA or a Patient Care Tech. To the best of my understanding the difference is a Patient Care Tech works in a hospital and has a few additional skills that a CNA in LTC wouldn't have - such as EKG and Phleb. I've explained to her that even with the Patient Care Tech course it will probably still be next to impossible to get a job in a hospital without experience. Maybe the school itself will be able to get her in; I just don't know how even a good tech school is going to be able to help all their graduates get Patient Care Tech jobs when most hospitals prefer experience. She understands this but says she wants to take the course anyway just to make her more marketable if she can do it at a more affordable cost.
cardiacRN2006, ADN, RN
$9000 is more than I spent on my RN.
That being said, my PCT training was free. No, wait. That's not entirely true. I was paid while completing the training. I was trained at the hopsital, paid while I did it, and had my choice of floors on which to work.
I agree with the other posters, and you are right, PCT is basically a CNA with additional training in EKG and Phlebotomy. Since your friend is already interested in becoming a CNA, it would be a wiser choice to do that, work for 1 year and then apply for a PCT position @ a hospital.
They're some programs that collaborate with the hospitals they do they're clinicals in and so that program may very well indeed be able to boast a high percentage of placements. Yes, some hospitals will only work with certain schools, however it's still a risk and @ $9000.........I don't know.:uhoh21:
There's also the possibility that while your friend is doing her clinicals in the hospital, she can network and if she's able to impress them she can be offered a position.
I myself got hired on in the hospital that I did my externship @ for a CCMA. After 6 mos, I saw a posting for a PCT position and applied. They interviewed me, and was a little hesitant because they typically like to hire CNA because of the bedside care but my position was close enough. They trained me (paid training because I was already an employee), tested me and oriented me to the floor. It was a pretty thorough process and I have to say that I love it, but I didn't pay for it. It was the other way around.
I wish your friend well and sucess in whatever path she chooses.:nuke:
She'll just take a regular CNA course if it turns out $9000 is the standard cost of a PCT course. That is just too large a debt to assume if she'll probably have to work as a CNA for an unspecified amount of time after completing the class.
I recieved my pct training at a hospital for free. all nursing assistants wether you were certified as a cna or not, had to go through the hospitals training program if you wanted to work there. i was hired as a cna and went through the training about two months later. i learned how to insert foleys, accu checks, tube feedings, blood drawing, ekg's, sterile dressing changes, even some respiratory therapy skills. i transferred into the CCU's where i got additional training and all this was free.
alot has changed since then which was about 15yrs. ago when i did it. now techs aren't doing venipuntures and inserting foleys, sterile dressing changes and ekg's, accu checks too much anymore, at least where i live in missouri. i would advise your friend not to pay that much money for pct training it's just not worth it. if she were to go and just apply at a hospital hopefully she'll get hired and go through the training for free.
My PCT program costs $990. It includes the EKG, Phlebotomy, and PCT Certifications; plus, the National exams.
Now that sounds much more reasonable.
Tell your friend to stay clear from whatever training program that is. They are trying to rape her pockets. Sorry to be so blunt. The PCT course here in NYC is 1500. With the CNA combined it's about 2800. I got a grant from the state to pay for my class. Tell her to shop around and see what your state offers or what other schools offer training. I can't even take my PCT course yet because the state won't pay for it unless I have CNA experience. I won't be very marketable as a new PCT with no healthcare experience. She will have a hard time finding work as a new PCT, yet alone in a hospital. These places are wary about hiring newbies because if the newbie makes a mistake they will be held liable for it and have a potential lawsuit.
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