Patient Care Assistant??

Students General Students


hey guys...hopefully I will be starting nursing school in the fall and right now I am looking for jobs in the hospital setting. I currently work part time retail, but would LOVE to be in the hospital just to get a feel for the environment. I went to my local hospital today and looked on the job board at HR. The only thing that would apply to me is a Patient Care Assistant. There was a short description stating that you would assist the RN with duties and things like that. Can anyone give me a better idea of what a PCA does? Is it comparable to a CNA except without the certification? Any ideas would be helpful! Thanks!


532 Posts

It differs at every hospital but usually a Patient Care Assistant performs duties similar to a CNA, but does not do the more advanced procedures such as discontinuing catheters and IV's.

Good luck!


48 Posts

hmmm.... in Tennessee, PCAs do the same thing as CNAs, and if they go to special "hospital based classes" then they are able to do things such as D/C IVs, and D/C catheters. And of course assisting the RN in things such as baths, linen changes, etc... I know that they can't pass meds, or do any invasive procedures. Hope that helped a little bit. We've been strongly encouraged apply for a PCA job. They're supposed to give you a lot of experience that will be helpful in school and as an RN. By the way, how deep in the Heart of Dixie are you? I grew up in Dothan, and I miss it. :crying2:


Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.
... Is it comparable to a CNA except without the certification?...

You got it!

Go for it. Will help you tons to see, hear, and feel what nursing is about, and put some reality into the courses you'll be taking.


148 Posts

I live in Sylacauga...about 30 miles SE of Bham in case ya didn't's a small town...I went to school at Auburn for a few years and had some friends from's a great place!

Thanks everyone! I'm gonna put my application in tomorrow!

wonderbee, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,212 Posts

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

I don't know if CNA's do blood draws and EKG's. That's part of my job as a PCA except we're called patient care technicians at my hospital. The job is great for learning time management and how to work as part of a team.

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