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How to Become a Qualified Patient Care Technician

Follow your passion for a career in healthcare and make a difference.


Patient_Care_Tech_Student_getting_medication_ready_inset Learn bedside care along with many other skills in our real-world labs.

A patient care technician (PCT) provides hands-on care to patients with a variety of healthcare needs. PCTs can specialize in different types of roles such as a dialysis technician, hospital caregiver, emergency department technician, patient advocate, ECG monitor technician and home health aide.

So, how do you become qualified to work in these specialties?

Program Qualifications
First, you must have obtained your high school diploma or GED. Then you have to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) before you can move onto the patient care technician program at Pima Medical Institute. The CNA provides you the basic nursing skills needed in order to be successful in the PCT course. Plus, it’s important that you know specific tasks and patient care so you can be confident with the coursework in the PCT program. It’s important to check the requirements from your state and the institution you’d like to attend to determine if you need to have your nursing assistant certification.

Once you have submitted your application and are accepted into the program, you’ll be required to take all of the courses that will teach you how to work as a patient care technician. Some of these courses can include Emergency Room Technician, Infection Control, Electrocardiography, Renal Anatomy and Physiology, Principles and Practices of Hemodialysis and Communication. All of these courses will give you an array of patient care skills, allowing you to apply for various positions in the healthcare field.

Externship to Gain Hands-On Experience
At the end of the program, Pima Medical’s career services team matches you with an externship site where you can complete your required 280 clinical hours. This provides you the opportunity to put the hands-on training you’ve learned in the labs into real-world practice. It will also help you gain confidence in your ability to perform procedures such as blood draws, ECGs and catheterizations.

And finally, to begin working as a PCT after you graduate, you will need to take National Certified Patient Care Technician (NCPCT) exam through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The exam will assess different skills such as patient care, phlebotomy, ECG, infection control and safety. Pima Medical does prepare you for the exam.

After you pass the exam, you are ready to start applying to jobs for your new healthcare career! Be sure to work with our career services team from your campus to help assist you with job placement.

If this rewarding career interests you, get started today! What are you waiting for? You can begin helping people quickly in the healthcare field with a patient care technician certification in eight months.


May 17, 2021

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