• Specializes in VA, Ortho, Med/Surg. Has 25 years experience.

Hi, what is the difference between cna's and pct's? Schooling ie length/cost of it," duties?



PCT is a name that sometimes hospitals give to SNs (Student Nurses)working as what would be a CNA. They sometimes have a larger skill set like drawing blood and D/Cing IVs and foleys. I honestly think though that it comes down to nomenclature and facility specific criteria (pct 1 vs pct 2 ... etc.).


92 Posts

PCT's have more skills in their pockets compared to CNA's, but usually you need to have a CNA to be able to be trained as a PCT in a hospital/etc. PCT's can do all the CNA work, but many can do blood drawing, IV's, other light invasive procedures. They only use the term PCT because even if you know how to draw blood, do IV's, etc., you cannot do these procedures if your work title is CNA because it is against the law and you will be practicing nursing without a license.


446 Posts

PCT is a job title. The tasks performed by PCTs vary greatly from hospital to hospital, but generally you do the work of a CNA with a few added tasks thrown in like phlebotomy and urinary catheterization. PCTs pretty much always work in an acute care setting( a fancy term for hospital), whereas CNAs can also work in other environments like LTC and home care.

All CNAs are certified by the state and in my state at least no one can become a CNA(including nursing students) unless they have completed a state approved CNA course and passed the state written and practical exam. I think out of state CNAs can test out as a CNA here, but I'm not certain on that or if there is other criteria that must be met.

PCTs are not required to hold any certifications and their education and training varies. Some PCTs education can be summed up as high school plus OJT. Others have pre med degrees, and others are CNAs or MAs who got extra OJT. I would say probably most PCTs are either nursing students or taking pre nursing classes.