Meet Noelle Gomez. She’s our Patient Care Technician (PCT) instructor at our East Valley campus. When she was 19-years-old she thought she wanted to become a nurse. First, she decided to go into PCT to get her feet wet in the healthcare field and make sure that was the career she wanted. Once she earned her certification and began working at Scripps Health Hospital as a dialysis technician, she discovered that was her passion. And, she was a natural at it.
“I ended up working there for five years and then decided I wanted to go back to school,” Gomez said. “I had changed my mind about nursing and decided to get my bachelor’s degree in business management. The beauty about this program was that I was able to study something else and get a lot of it paid for through tuition reimbursement from the hospital. They groomed me to run my own dialysis unit with my business degree. I enjoyed doing that, but discovered I’m not an office person. So, I decided to go back and continue patient care because that’s where my love is.”
Throughout her career, she was able to be a traveling dialysis technician. She experienced working on cruise boats, on the beaches in San Diego and Orange County during the summers and in Arizona during the cooler months. After she decided to settle down and have a family, she realized she needed to find something where she wasn’t traveling as much. That’s when her boss approached her and asked her to be a substitute instructor at Pima Medical. After a year, she was hired on full time.
“The most rewarding for me is watching students leave totally different than when they came in here,” Gomez said. “I always tell my students this is their home away from home, and they’re always welcome back anytime. Say you work in an emergency room and later on get hired in dialysis. You can always come home to practice.”
According to Gomez, students can expect to learn a lot of skills, like wound care, packing, debriding, taking cultures, trach care, catheters, colostomy and more. While in the program, students will also learn phlebotomy and can take the certification exam during the program. Other certifications in the program include ECG, dialysis and PCT, allowing graduates to work in a variety of settings.
“This is what I love about being a PCT. If you like the fast-paced work style, then the emergency room would be great for you,” Gomez continued. “I have a couple recent graduates that are now working in the cardiology department at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. They’re doing ECGs. There’s also post operation facilities, medical surgery clinics and even some schools are hiring our PCTs as substitutes for the school nurses.”
When we asked Gomez what advice she would give to someone looking to become a PCT, she responded, “Be open to all the different things involved. You may say ‘I like the phlebotomy and the ECG, but I hate the dialysis, so I’m not going to do it.’ Give it a try. You may still not like it later on, but you still have a lot of other factors to fall back on. But, most importantly, have fun.”
To meet Noelle Gomez and learn more about the Patient Care Technician program at our East Valley campus, join us on Tuesday, September 25th from 1-4pm for an information session and open house. RSVP today.