Becoming a Patient Care Technician in 8 Steps
Research the profession
Before pursuing a career as a PCT, research the profession to ensure it aligns with your interests and long-term goals. Familiarize yourself with the job responsibilities, work environment, and potential career paths.
Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent
A high school diploma or GED is generally required to enroll in a PCT training program. Some programs may also require prerequisites such as basic math, English, or science courses.
Complete a PCT or CNA training program
Enroll in a state-approved PCT or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program. These programs are often offered by community colleges, vocational schools, or healthcare facilities and typically last from a few weeks to a few months. The curriculum includes classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience, covering topics such as basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, infection control, and patient safety.
Obtain CPR certification
Most PCT training programs require students to obtain CPR certification, either as part of the curriculum or as a prerequisite. American Heart Association or American Red Cross certification is widely accepted.
Pass the certification exam
After completing the training program, you may be required to pass a state certification exam, which typically includes both written and practical components. Some states may require PCTs to obtain CNA certification, while others may offer separate PCT certification.
Apply for jobs
Once you have completed your training and obtained the necessary certifications, begin searching for job opportunities in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or home healthcare agencies. Prepare your resume and practice your interview skills to increase your chances of securing employment.
As a newly certified PCT, work to gain experience and develop your skills in patient care. This experience will not only help you become a more competent PCT but may also open doors to further career advancement opportunities.
Pursue additional certifications or education
Consider pursuing additional education and certifications to expand your skillset and increase your marketability. This may include phlebotomy or EKG technician training, advanced CPR or first aid certifications, or even enrolling in a nursing or allied health degree program.