ATTENTION ALL Nurses, Volunteers, Patient Care Associates/Techs, CNA's...

  1. Hey everyone where do I start? I am completing my first semester of nursing school in May and have three more to go(assuming I don't need to repeat anything). I am determined to get a PCT(patient care technician) certificate over the summer which will include phlebotomy and EKG. I know getting a nursing job is hard these days, but what about PCT's without experience? I plan on starting out at a city hospital, I am guessing I have a better chance there. My plan is I can work as a PCT while completing my nursing degree. I will be graduating with an associates which will be a challenge getting a job with that degree anyway so at least I would continue my PCT job until getting my BSN. Here is where it gets a little crazy, I reaaaallllyyyy want to volunteer as well. I want to constantly be exposed to patients and really be confident and build my self esteem as a new grad nurse(when I get to that point). So here is my question, I basically would accept a PCT job anywhere, but I was thinking of volunteering at my top choice hospital so that when that BSN is finally in my hands, I have the experience and would have networked. Honestly, I want the volunteer gig for the patient exposure, but having my foot in the door at my top choice hospital is an added bonus.

    I know I just wrote a whole lot. Please give me your opinions your comments will totally be appreciated. I would like nurses, volunteers and PCT's to reply and give their input. Am I crazy? How many hours is good enough for volunteer work? I need input and guidance.

    Just in case anyone is wondering what my path is, I really love children and was thinking of possibly volunteering at St. Jude's. Not only will I be brightening their smiles however I can, but I will go home feeling happy. My other choice would be the VA hospital. My brothers are both veterans and it is more personal for me.

    Thank you to all who has read this far and an even bigger thank you to those who will reply.
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    About LM NY

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 360; Likes: 439


  3. by   LM NY
    I'm feeling sad no one replied
  4. by   Just_keep_swimming
    Um, you didn't ask any questions or advice, that's prob why no one did

    Hello, good luck with your schooling & volunteering
  5. by   LM NY
    Oh, I thought I did. Basically wondering if getting a patient care technician job wih no experience is just as hard as getting a nursing job with no experience. Also, if volunteering for two years at my top choice hospital really helpful in the long run. Also, how many hours at the hospital is considered enough? Just wondering if anyone went down the same path and whether or not any of it helped them. Thanks Jess
  6. by   JWEMT
    It is hard to find a PCT job. A phleb and ekg cert is just that says that you went through the training. I got Phleb certified and never even touched a patient. So its different then a license. My advice for you is to not try to do too many things. I was volunteering at a few hospitals and wasn't doing a good job at any of them because I wanted to do everything.
  7. by   LM NY
    Thanks JWEMT I can totally relate, because I am the type that wants to do it all. Regardless, I still want to dedicate one day a week to volunteering. I am torn between the VA and St Jude's(possibly even Morgan Stanley's Children Hospital). I don't want to burn myself out and do two days a week.
  8. by   Esme12
    I think it is where you posted....I moved your thread to PCA/CA for better response
  9. by   LM NY
    I hope I get more responses. I want that extra experience outside of school to really build my confidence so when I'm a new grad nurse, I am a little more at ease.
  10. by   funtimes
    If you cant get a job as a PCT, then try working in the trenches for a bit as a CNA. Its pretty much the same job anyway and is at least a better way to get experience and spruce up your resume than working the night shift at Dennys.
  11. by   LightX
    Volunteering at a hospital is a great way to get your foot in the door...even if it's only 2-4 hours a week.
    Just be careful that you don't burn yourself out by doing too much at a time. Maybe volunteer in the summer or during school breaks when you have more time and then work part time or per diem.
  12. by   SleeepyRN
    The likelihood of getting a pct job with no experience is going to vary due to numerous factors. I applied for 6 months at the hospital closest to me without getting an interview. Then I got the name and number of the nurse recruiter through networking and got an interview the next day. I was hired with no experience. I only went the CNA route. The hospital trained me in phlebotomy and EKGs. Honestly, I would get your CNA, apply to hospitals, but if you don't get hired at first, work in a nursing home. You will have a huge advantage over those who have no direct patient care experience. It made my first clinical rotation a breeze because I was already very used to patients and CNA work. Plus, it helped me not enter nursing under this illusion that its all rainbows and sunshine. There was no shock factor for me of the realities of healthcare that I saw in sooo many if my fellow nursing students. Just please don't discount the value of working in a long term care facility if you don't get a hospital job.
  13. by   LM NY
    Thank you funtimes and LightX, I appreciate your input.
  14. by   LM NY
    SleeepyRN- I would never rule out a long term facility. I especially love the older crowd and know they need someone to talk to. I just really enjoy the hustle and bustle(spelling? lol) of hospitals. I am just so excited and can't wait to begin this journey. Thank you for your input, it is very much appreciated.