Published Jan 14, 2010
I am almost done with nursing school and wondered if I should try for a acp/pct job during school.
If you're almost done with nursing school, hospitals may not want to hire and train you just to lose you in a few months. That being said, apply and see! You might also want to apply for externships and the like as a student nurse if facilities in your area offer programs to get a foot in the door.
I am also finishing an ASN program and have been working as a NA (PCT) for a little over a year now. It's been an invaluable experience to see and learn more about the hospital, how the wards are organized, procedures and getting comfortable with regular cares. Having 15 patients to care for provided a serious lesson in time management that clinicals never prepared me for. Some of our floor nurses have been kind to explain concepts or let me observe something new.
While it's nice to be a current employee and privy to internal job postings, I know a number of techs working on the floor (and other units) who have not been retained after graduating. It's definitely not a guarantee, even with a good work history.
StayLost, BSN, RN
I was a PCT for about a year and a half through school. Now that I am a new graduate, I sure am glad that I have that to put on my resume. There is a lot of white on the paper and it's nice to take some space up with experience in the field. Not to mention that hospitals like to see that you aren't going to be lost on the unit-- that you will understand with a basic knowledge of how a hospital floor functions. There is so much that you learn by being a tech that you never get in clinicals.
I also believe that you practice better as a nurse when you have been a PCT. I was always able to tell which nurses had been PCT's before being licensed as a RN and which ones were not. Nurses who have worked as a CNA or tech always have a better understanding of your workload and are more willing to work as a team and pick up the slack, which provides the patient with better care.
As much as I hated it, it was a priceless experience. You should do it.
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