Career Paths for Certified Patient Care Technicians
So, maybe you’ve decided that furthering your education with medical training is the right option for your future. While there are several beneficial programs available for your career such as nursing assistant (NA) programs, massage therapy certification, and medical assistant (MA) programs, patient care technician programs are among the most promising. If you’re considering becoming a Patient Care Technician (PCT), you’ll find that plenty of career choices are open to you down the line.
The most important piece of information to address first is that all patient care technicians are nurse assistants, but not all nurse assistants are patient care technicians. Patient care technicians have the qualifications of nurse assistants, in addition to extra training for more advanced care. The advantage of becoming a PCT is the flexibility and range of career paths and job security open to you. Patient care technicians enjoy a wider scope of job options. Usually, patient care technicians are focused on providing care for people with terminal illnesses or life long conditions and disabilities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for nursing assistants is 18% for the 2014-2024 cycle. In 2016, there were one and a half million nursing assistant jobs in the United States. PCT training will primarily allow you to become a caregiver. So what roles in healthcare are possible for a PCT? Find out your options if you decide to pursue extra certification and become a patient care technician!
- Nurse assistant or nursing aide: Even if you earn your patient care technician certification, you can still choose to work as a Nurse Assistant or Nursing Aide. Becoming a Nurse Assistant is still a dynamic and demanding role. You’ll bathe and dress patients, take vitals, help patients into beds and wheelchairs, examine patients, and more.
- Orderly: Orderlies are supervised by nurses and help give basic assistance to staff with everyday tasks. This might include reporting patient needs, stripping and cleaning bed linens, transporting patients and keeping patient areas sanitized. This is a great place to start to learn the ropes and gain the experience you need to take on more training.
- Home health aide: Today, Americans are living longer and longer. As the population of very elderly Americans increases, the demand for qualified patient care technicians to aide with home life increases too. Between nursing homes, hospice and in-home care, there are job opportunities everywhere for PCTs. A PCT program prepares you for all aspects of care, helping seniors and disabled individuals complete their routine activities.
- Phlebotomist: Phlebotomists assist in blood drawing for transfusions, testing and more. These jobs are available in hospitals, diagnostic labs, blood donor centers and doctor’s offices. This profession also has a slightly higher median salary than other jobs held by nursing assistants, which provides incentive if you’re considering a PCT certification. The job outlook for phlebotomists is also projected to rise at a much higher than average rate, at 25%.
- Electrocardiograph aide or EKG technician: EKG Technicians usually work directly with patients in hospitals or clinics. You’ll use EKG technology to measure the performance of the heart, including stress testing and even electrocardiograms. Your PCT classes will prepare you to gain this training in the workforce. Because cardiology is a growing field due to the widespread impact of heart disease, an EKG technician is a promising job opportunity.
If you’re considering becoming a CNA, don’t forget to research all of your options. Adding patient care technician certification to your qualifications can introduce you to a wider range of career opportunities. To discover what opportunities are waiting for you, visit Woodruff Medical Training and Testing online to read about programs.