Patient Care Associate???

Nurses General Nursing


Hello everyone! Oh how I have missed this site! Can anyone tell me if they know of anyone who has completed a patient care associate/patient care tech program, and if so if they were able to find a job afterwards? It's a six month program- the LPN program I want to take is 12 months. If I dont' get accepted into the LPN program this time around, do you think it'd be a good idea to go ahead and take the pca class? Or do you think it'd be a waste of my time. I'm already a CNA, but the PCA program includes phlebotomy training, ekg training, and Unit ward clerk training. Think it's worth 6 months of my time and money? Thanks for any input, info, or mere opinions!

I'm just as lost as an Easter egg!!

Thanks- Sandy:confused:confused: ;)


208 Posts

If you don't get accepted an LPN program this time around then I'd definately consider taking the PCA program. We could live 10 lifetimes and never have enough knowledge in our heads! Besides that, the knowledge, experience and the fact that it shows you are a "self-starter" would make you a stronger candidate the next time the LPN program admission process comes around again. Besides that, most employers like to have employees who can do multiple tasks... that's always a plus! I say "GO FOR IT!"

And good luck, whatever you do!!!


615 Posts

How much is the class? Six months sounds like a long time. I am not from your state so know nothing about the job market. The hospital that I work in has PCT's and they train them right there at the hospital. Where do you work as a CNA? Have you checked with any of the hospitals to see if they do on the job training. The hospital is one of the HCA chain, by the way.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

I'd check with potential hiring facilities in the geographical areas you wish to work. THEY are the ones who would be doing the hiring and can likely give you the most accurate and up-to-date information (though even these paramaters will change over time in unpredictable ways).

The cost of the program is $1300. I work for a nursing home right now as a CNA, but know for a fact I want to climb the ladder. I have checked with the hospitals in my vicinity, and they have volunteer positions and some have CNA training, but none have any programs as far as training that you don't have to pay for besides CNA. (As far as I've found anyway) The phlebotomy and EKG training, and the fact that it may help me get into the LPN program are the only reasons I'm considering it. I just don't have the money or time to waste on something if it's not going to better my future. I had called the school and asked for a few names of graduates of the program, I just wanted to call and talk to a couple and find out what they thought of the program, and see if they had found a good job, or if they were working as CNA's. My fear is that I'll waste 6 months and still not to be able to get a job other than CNA. (Although I love my job!) Thanks for the input and suggestions- Any advice is needed!


1,037 Posts

Wow 1300 is pretty high.... Not sure I would pay that...


106 Posts

color=deeppink]i hope to be hearing from a hospital soon about a patient care technician program. i am already cna certified and a lpn student and really want to get hands on knowledge. the hospital where i applied here in south carolina teaches you hands on and the only requirement for the job is to have had nursing fundamentals. after being trained as a patient care technician 1 then you progress up to pct 2 and participate in wound dressings, drawing blood. definitely check with a hospital you are interested in and see how they train. they may not require to have had the pct class.


6,011 Posts


$1300 is pretty steep, but I have a lot of respect for the PCAs we had. They seemed to have packed a LOT of excellent teaching into their 6 mo program. When will you hear about the LPN admission?

I have to reapply next month and go through the entire interview process blah blah blah AGAIN. 3RD YEAR IN ROW. The first year I applied they turned me down because they could only accept 30 in the class, so they accepted 30 that had prior training, mostly cna's. I applied again last year after taking a cna course and didn't get in again, they said that my "debt ratio" was high (YEA- ONE REASON WHY I NEED TO BECOME A NURSE!) and my "family stress level" was high. (4 children) I should probably apply to other schools also, but I'm trying my best to stay close to home and not exceed a 30 minute drive one way. If I don't get in this time I'll be heartbroken. My grades in high school were average, mostly B's, and I made a 94 in the cna class, so I know I'm not dumb!:D Anyway- just ready to progress with my training and don't know what else to do besides the PCA program if I don't get into LPN. There's two other hospitals I'm going to check with in Nashville, don't really want to drive that far, but if they have training like you've explained it'd be worth it. Thanks again for your insight!


6 Posts

I got my CNA for free in high school, and when i turned 18 took a position in an ER. They trained me in phlebotomy, foley caths, 12 lead EKG's, and clerking right on the job. (as well as having to complete these modules.) so essentially i havent had to pay anything, so 1300 seems like a lot! I'm making up for it now by paying $5200 a semester at

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

You say you're a CNA but didn't clarify if you were working or not. While CNAs don't get trained in as many skills as a PCA, it is still a good experience and some hospitals (more likely the big university hospitals) DO train CNAs in EKGs, phlebotomy, etc, so check it out. Even if the facility doesn't train in those skills, working as a CNA can be a good experience in general. It gives a good idea of the pace of work, the competing priorities, the work environment. You deal with the same patients you'll be working with as a nurse.

If there aren't any good CNA opportunties, there aren't any other more affordable programs in the area, and you CAN afford the program, it can't be anything but helpful to get more skilled. Especially if the program has lots of hands on practice so you not only study the skills but you actually have the chance to do them over and over and really get comfortable with them. Even in nursing school, you may not have the opportunity to REALLY learn such skills. For example, my RN program didn't teach phlebotomy at all. We did just one or two EKGs - that's over a two year period! Not all RNs do these tasks regularly, but some do need to do these periodically and with all the other things new nurses have to learn, having to fumble through such tasks only adds another stressor. Also, the process of mastering such skills can increase your own confidence in your abilities and would make nursing school a little less stressful.

I do think it would help your application, too. Certainly shows you're willing to invest in your education. Some folks don't have the luxury to be able have such a choice, but if you do, why not take advantage of it?

Private programs are always expensive. Goes to show just what a good deal public schools are! Those 8-month medical/dental asst programs can charge up to $10,000 in tuition! On the other hand, these schools have more pressure to turn out well-prepared graduates and to help place them in jobs.

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

oops, double posted by accident

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