Physician Care Assistant

  1. I just got a job as a PCA at a local hospital. I begin a three-week training course in July. Any word of advise from others who have gone through this or is in fact a PCA at this time. What is your day like, what are your duties, did it help you through clinicals, and were you offered more money when you graduated???? I am a current nursing student (with only 7 more non-nursing classes to go before I begin clinicals, which will hopefully be next Fall). I'm so excited. I will be working with the surgical/rehab unit at this hospital. Postive and negative feedback is welcomed! I feel like I am about to endure on an adventure, which will teach me something new everyday! I'm so happy I can ditch my downtown 8-5 job. It's so darn boring!

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    About RN-2-BE

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 15
    Executive Assistant/Nursing Student


  3. by   CEN35
    PCA??? Is that like a nurse tech or STNA????

  4. by   RN-2-BE
    PCA stands for Physician Care Assistant and basically is a "step up" from a CNA, seeing that in a PCA position you can draw blood, take out IV's, I guess pretty much a little more hands on in a way. Although, the pay is just as bad as a PCA...HAHAHAA, although, I'm taking the job for the experience and knowledge I hope to gain - not the money! Hopefully that clarifies the confusion.
  5. by   fiestynurse
    I thought that PCA stood for Patient Care assistant? It stands for Physician Care Assistant? Is this similar to Medical Assistants, only in a different setting? Is this another one of those positions created by the AMA? (They created Physician Assistants, Medical Assistants) I am not completley clear on how this is different from a CNA? I sure wish that the ANA and AMA would work together more and not keep trying to confuse people, by creating additional titles for people performing the same functions.
  6. by   RN-2-BE
    Good point Fiestynurse! Maybe it's a hospital thing. Gosh, as I was re-reading my second post.... I compared a PCA pay to a PCA pay.... duh, I meant CNA.

    I'm not too in depth on the whole AMA & ANA regulations/rules/titles, etc., so I couldn't help you there. I would definitely say this position is exactly a patient care assistant.
  7. by   oramar
    Don't feel like a goof. Medicine has it's own lingo and even very experienced people can get confused. As a nurse you will frequently find yourself translating the lingo for patients who are at a loss about what is being said to them.

    [ May 25, 2001: Message edited by: oramar ]
  8. by   StaceRacer1
    a PCA in my hospital means a Patient Care Associate.
    That is great! Get out of that current job and get your hands wet!! It will definately help with your skills as a student nurse in clinical!!
  9. by   fiestynurse
    RN-2-BE, I think it's important that you are clear on your role and what is unique to your position. You will obviouly have to educate other care takers because there will be confusion as to what type of training you have had and what you can and cannot do legally. Best wishes to you!!
  10. by   Chellyse66
    We have PCA's in all our hospitals in Florida. PCA means Patient Care Assistant in Florida. We also have PCT's which are Patient Care Techs , both require 4-6 week classes, usually available for CNA's experienced wanting to further thier skills, or student nurses in the first semester

    [ May 25, 2001: Message edited by: Chellyse66 ]
  11. by   CMAtoRNPLZ
    Here in WI, we have PCT (Patient Care techs), which are the smae thing as a PCA. Our hospital hires only Certified Medical Assistnats with 2 years of clinical exp for these jobs, as the PCT can do phlebotomy, post-op care such as dressing changes, wound care, vitals, and also do alot of piddly stuff like stocking, meals and basic "help" with what the RN's need or don't have time to do. The PCT works directly under the RN, such as a CNA would do. But the PCT is trained in clincal assisting and is really a few steps up from a CNA. Here, Medical Assistants with certification and exp are also hired as ER techs to do about the same thing. Both make aroudn $10. A friend of mine is a PCT on the OB floor and makes $12 an hour. She is able to go in on deliveries to lend a hand. I've thought about doing it. It is great experience. Hope this helps a little. Lisa
  12. by   RN-2-BE
    I did call the hospital to verify and there was a miscommunication from the person who told me about this position. So yes... it is patient care assistant. I feel like such a goof, but nobody's perfect, right? Yes, I'll be making $10 hr on a med/surg floor. Really looking forward to the training and experience! This is the very first time I've ever worked in a medical center!
  13. by   Chellyse66
    Forget the "goof" stuff, you are not...Experienced or enthusiastic PCA's and PCT's really perform many skills to assist the Nurse and unit team. 10/hr is not a bad starting wage.I promise you will get lots of hands on experience, and it will help you understand the flow of a unit, especially if this is your first hospital work. Good luck in your new job!