Patient Care Technicians (PCTs), just like nurses, are concerned with the basic duties and responsibilities of patient care. In fact, just like certified nursing assistants (CNAs), PCTs are entrusted with duties of looking after a patient in hospitals and healthcare units.
Since there are immense career opportunities in this growing field, many students are regarding the job certification to be a stepping stone for better prospects in nursing jobs.
Medical jobs demand skills and practice. The patient care technician profession is no exception to this rule. In recent years, the certification it requires has become an important criteria that employers look for, in their prospective employees.
The importance of the certification can be highlighted from the fact that many hospitals and healthcare units directly take candidates who possess it, as they are equipped with all the skills required for the job. In some hospital establishments, PCTs are given on-the-job training to sharpen their skills, before they start working full-time.
According to BLS, the projected employment growth in this field is expected to be 11% by 2026. The demand for workers who possess multiple skills, similar to that of PCTs is increasing steadily.
After successful completion of patient care training from a community college, privately-owned hospital unit, or from any other medical institute, PCTs are awarded certifications in this field.
Students are trained to hone clinical skills like blood collection, EKGs, catheterization, recording crucial signs of disease, analyzing medical records, and patient treatment. Precisely stated, the training program makes them comfortable to work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and placement agencies.
Steps in the Process of Certification
To obtain proper certification, an individual needs to complete four modules of courses. They are as follows:
- Basic Patient Care Skills (CNA)
- Electrocardiography (EKG)
- Advanced Nursing Skills
Depending on the specialization you choose, you will be awarded certification. For example, certifications for dialysis patient care is given to those who specialize in this specific field. There are several training programs that are conducted online.
There are a few websites that offer certifications online. However, schools, hospitals, and other employers prefer candidates who have practical skills, as the very nature of this job is clinical.
Nevertheless, conducting medical education in virtual environment is possible in some specific specializations, where it is easier to understand the subjects online. In certified nursing assistant module, one is trained to understand the basics of handling a patient.
In phlebotomy, PCTs are taught to take proper specimens of blood samples and store them safely for supervision and analysis.
Handling electrocardiograph machines and recording proper data comes under the training module of EKG. When a candidate is trained for advanced nursing skills, he or she is made aware of techniques and tips to handle emergency situations.
The certification also increases the prospects of earning more. With better certifications, your chances of being hired at better pay scales increase tremendously.