What is a Patient Care Technician (PCT)?

  1. I'm trying to find an entry-level job in a hospital to work while I go to nursing school. Is a PCT the same as a CNA? If not, what is different between the two? Do I need any special certifications to be a PCT or a CNA (I haven't started nursing classes yet, just in pre-nursing)? Also, does anyone know what the salary range might be for either of the positions? I'm not looking forward to the pay cut I'll have to take in leaving my current job, but I feel the experience with be worth it.
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    About shyviolet78

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 231; Likes: 5


  3. by   CEN35
    I beleive a PCT is similar to an NA? We have hired people in our ER as ED Techs. They get trained to transport patients, put them on and off bedoans, do vital signs, and do 12 lead EKGs. Some of them a re a huge help, and some have been useless. Not sure about other hospitals, but they get paid about $8.50 an hour.
    Pay cut? haha When I quit my full time job to finish my last two years of nursing school (full time), I had a house and a wife. I went from $30,0000 a year to "O" yes $0..........lmao! That is a pay cut!

  4. by   Brown Suga
    The hospital were I work there is a 10% pay difference between the CNAs and the PCTs. I have been a PCT for almost a year now. In order to get you PCT training you need to have a CNA license. As a CNA you assist patients with their activities of daily living, you measure a record height, weight, vital signs, intake and output, assist patient with ambulation, toileting, and bathing. As a PCT you do the same thing as a CNA with the added responsiblity of monitoring blood glucose levels, draw blood to be sent to the lab, insert and remove foley cathaters, and some sterile dressing changes. Working as a CNA and PCT has been an eye opening experience and a great learning opportunity for me. If you can handle being a CNA or PCT then you can nursing school. I feel by working as a PCT I have a little advantage over my classmates when it comes to clinicals because I won't be afraid of assisting a patient with a bedpan.
  5. by   Elenaster
    I agree! The experience working in a hospital while you're in nursing school is invaluable. My experience as an NCT in the ED has put me head and shoulders above many of my classmates in clinical. As for the differences between the PCT and the CNA, it's pretty much individualized to the facility where you work. As an NCT in the ED, I do blood glucose monitoring, pt. transport, phlebotomy and collection of other specimens for lab, perform CPR during codes, and assist the docs and RNs with procedures. I never worked exclusively as a "CNA" but you'll find different names and varying responsibilities for them in virtually every health care facility you go. The state board of nursing in Kentucky refers to them all as "Unlicensed Assitive Personnel" and it covers anyone who works with the health care team that is not a licensed provider.

    I hope this helps! Good luck in nursing school!