Patient Care Tech and CNA?

  1. Are patient care technicians and Certified Nurse Assistant the same thing? Or does one position require more schooling/certification than the other?
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    Joined: May '06; Posts: 399; Likes: 147

    9 Comments

  3. by   NurseLatteDNP
    I my hospital you can only be a Tech if you are a nursing student, otherwise you are an aide. Techs are allowed to do all the skills they have been checked off in school.
    But I know of a large hospital in Dallas that calls all nursing assistants patient care tech.
  4. by   bethin
    In my hospital, techs are those who have had at least one semester of clinicals.

    I've applied for CNA jobs in larger hospitals and have come across other variants: PCP: patient care partners, PCT: patient care techs, even though you do not have to have clinical experience, and PCA: patient care assistants. Alot of people call me a tech even though I am not in nursing school so I have to spend time explaining the difference to them. It would be nice if we all could be called the same thing. RN's are RN's and LPN's are LPN's (or LVN's).
  5. by   christymwinn
    A CNA requires a certificate, they have to take a standard test.
    A PCA,PCT, or whatever other initials they have do not have to take that test. They might have to take a "test" for the place they are tring to get hired at and then go throught certain orientation and job skill training, but they are totally different.
    I was a PCA. You do not have to be a CNA to work in a hospital in my state, but you do to work in a NH.
  6. by   RNfaster
    In my hospital, patient care techs are a higher level than CNAs. They insert Foley catheters, draw blood, etc. Block one of nursing school around here covers most if not of the patient care tech skills.
  7. by   crackerjack
    Quote from sonoran
    In my hospital, patient care techs are a higher level than CNAs. They insert Foley catheters, draw blood, etc. Block one of nursing school around here covers most if not of the patient care tech skills.
    :yeahthat: It's like that throughout my entire state.
  8. by   DarciaMoonz
    yeah it is a level higher than a CNA. Basically, it is a CNA trained to do "hospital based" procedures. I want to say, if CNAs where given levels in the hospitals in my area, than maybe a CNA level I , II and so on. I live near two different hospitals, and one uses the name PCA and the other Clinical Technicians. The requirements for the job are nursing student with at least 120 hours of clinical or current CNA certification. They train you for blood drawing and whatever else they are going to have you do under your job description.
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    In California there is no legal definition of a 'patient care tech'. I prefer working with a certified nursing assistant. They have a scope of practice, validated competence in required tasks such as taking vital signs, measuring oral intake and urine output, and body mechanics.
    Also they have passed a background check for possible criminal convictions or mental health disorder that deems them a possible danger to themself or others.

    Of course many CNA's and uncertified caregivers are excellent but unless I know their skills I cannot assign them to patient care duties.
  10. by   aa24212
    In the hospital I work in, a CNA has formal education and passes a certification exam; and a PCT has no education and no licensure.
  11. by   crackerjack
    In my state the PCT has formal education, is required to check off on specific skills including setting up a sterile field for dressing changes and foley insertion, drawing blood (venous and arterial), among many other things. The PCT course is available at community colleges for 8 weeks of 5 days/wk and 8 hrs/day and is a required pass course prior to application/admission to nursing school although it is not required that the student once passed the school course apply and pass certification with the state. State certification requires written testing and clinical skills check off by state approved testers. In order to work as a PCT, state testing and certification are required.

    CNA courses are also available through community colleges but may be trained OTJ and do not require state ceritifcation testing in order to work as a CNA, just the certificate issued by the college or company providing the training. At one point the colleges here were accepting CNA training for the PCT prerequisite but have quit accepting it in favor of the greater education and skill set learned in PCT training.

    Pay for the PCT is greater than that of a CNA although it's been too long for me to know what the ranges and differences were. The PCT functions under the RN license as does the CNA, the PCT simply has a greater scope of practice than a CNA. Typically the PCT is found in the hospital and a CNA in LTC, at least that's how it is here.

    I hope this helps.

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