National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certification
The NHA offers multiple certifications for different healthcare professions. For Patient Care Technicians, the relevant certification is the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A).
To be eligible for the CPCT/A exam, you must meet one of the following requirements:
Completed a Patient Care Technician training program within the last five years.
Have relevant work experience as a Patient Care Technician within the last five years, with at least 1,200 hours of supervised experience.
Have a current or previously held certification as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) or Medical Assistant (MA) with at least 600 hours of supervised experience in a PCT role within the last five years.
The Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) exam, offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), covers various topics related to patient care, ensuring that candidates possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide competent care. The exam focuses on the following areas:
Basic Patient Care: This includes patient care procedures such as bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, transferring, and ambulation, as well as providing comfort measures, positioning patients, and maintaining patient safety.
Patient Assessment and Vital Signs: This section covers techniques for measuring vital signs (temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and pain), performing patient assessments, and recognizing and reporting abnormal findings.
Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection: Candidates are tested on their knowledge of blood collection techniques, specimen handling, and related safety and infection control procedures.
Electrocardiography (EKG): This section evaluates the candidate’s understanding of EKG procedures, including electrode placement, recording EKG tracings, and recognizing basic arrhythmias.
Infection Control and Safety Procedures: This area focuses on best practices for preventing the spread of infections, adhering to safety guidelines, and handling hazardous materials.
Medical Terminology and Abbreviations: Candidates should be familiar with common medical terms, abbreviations, and their meanings, as well as the proper usage of medical terminology in a healthcare setting.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills: This section assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively with patients, family members, and healthcare team members, as well as the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality.
Medical Law and Ethics: Candidates are tested on their understanding of legal and ethical principles related to patient care, such as informed consent, advanced directives, patients’ rights, and professional boundaries.
The CPCT/A exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and you will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the test. The exam is administered in a computer-based format at an approved testing center.
The CPCT/A exam fee is $155, which includes the cost of the exam and access to the NHA’s online study materials.
You will receive your exam results immediately upon completing the computer-based test. If you pass the exam, you will be awarded the CPCT/A certification, which demonstrates your competence and skill in patient care.
What are the benefits of the CPCT/A certification?
The Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) certification, offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), provides several benefits for healthcare professionals, including:
Professional Recognition: Obtaining the CPCT/A certification demonstrates that you have met the national standards for knowledge and skills in patient care. This recognition can help you stand out among other job candidates and showcase your commitment to providing quality patient care.
Increased Job Opportunities: Many healthcare employers prefer or require certification for patient care technician positions. Holding a CPCT/A certification can increase your chances of being hired and open up more job opportunities in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and home healthcare agencies.
Higher Earning Potential: Certified professionals often have a higher earning potential compared to their non-certified counterparts. Employers may be willing to pay more for certified patient care technicians who have demonstrated their expertise and competence in the field.
Improved Patient Care: The CPCT/A certification ensures that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective patient care. This can lead to improved patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and a better overall healthcare experience.
Professional Development: Preparing for and obtaining the CPCT/A certification can enhance your knowledge and skills in patient care, making you a more competent and confident healthcare professional. Additionally, maintaining your certification through continuing education helps you stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
Networking Opportunities: Being certified by the NHA connects you with a network of other certified healthcare professionals, allowing you to share experiences, learn from others, and expand your professional network.
Increased Confidence: Achieving the CPCT/A certification can boost your confidence in your abilities as a patient care technician or assistant, helping you perform your job more effectively and providing better care to your patients.
CPCT/A Certification Renewal
To maintain your CPCT/A certification, you must complete at least 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years and pay a recertification fee. The NHA provides access to CE resources and allows you to track your CE credits online.