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Patient Care Technician

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Patient Care Technicians are healthcare professionals who provide hands-on care to patients in various medical settings. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, you may be wondering if taking Patient Care Technician classes online is a viable option. In this blog post, we will help you find the right online Patient Care Technician classes and learn about potential career opportunities after obtaining PCT certification.

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What is a Patient Care Technician (PCT)?

A Patient Care Technician (PCT), also known as a Patient Care Assistant or Hospital Assistant, is an allied health professional who provides basic care and support services for patients in various healthcare facilities. PCTs work under the direct supervision of nurses and play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and comfort of patients. They do similar tasks with CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) but are also trained to perform basic EKGs and phlebotomy tasks.

Requirements for PCT training

To enroll in an online PCT program, students typically need to meet the following requirements:

  1. High school diploma or GED equivalent.
  2. Basic computer literacy and access to a reliable internet connection.
  3. Certain programs may require students to undergo a background check and provide proof of immunizations.

Where to find online Patient Care Technician classes

When selecting an online program, it's essential to ensure that the institution is accredited and recognized by relevant healthcare organizations. With Dreambound, you can easily find online classes near you and choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences. Let’s hear what one of our students, Terri Rogers, has to say:

Dreambound helps you understand school features to choose the right one for you.

Highest-rated Online Patient Care Technician classes

Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs. We have 367 patient care technician classes available and some reputable training providers to explore include:

CareerStep

  • Fully online, learn on your terms
  • 12 months of access including CPCT/A, CPT, and CET certification preparation materials
  • Includes 100-hour externship
  • Cost: $3,799, flexible payment plans are available. Discounts may be given to U.S. veterans, active duty service members, and their spouses.
  • Not available in all states
  • Average rating of 4.5 stars on over 5000 reviews

MedCerts

  • Fully online, at your own schedule 24/7, 24 weeks long
  • After completion, MedCerts will work to match you with an externship site close to you. North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arkansas
  • Cost: $4,000, with payment options and financial aid available for those who qualify through: MyCAA, state workforce funding (including WIOA), and Department of Defense Credentialing Assistance or COOL funding for the Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard
  • Average rating of 4.8 stars on over 2000 reviews

If you're looking for other online class options, you can check these resources:

What do I learn in an online PCT class?

Online PCT programs cover a comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for their roles and responsibilities as patient care technicians. The coursework typically includes both theoretical and practical components, covering subjects such as:

  • Basic medical terminology and anatomy
  • Patient care techniques (bathing, feeding, repositioning)
  • Vital signs monitoring
  • Infection control and safety procedures
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Medical documentation and record-keeping

Many online programs also include virtual simulations and interactive learning tools to provide hands-on training experiences.

Frequently asked questions

Do online PCT students need to complete in-person clinical training?

Yes, most programs require students to complete clinical rotations and hands-on training at approved healthcare facilities in addition to online coursework.

Where to get certification?

After completing the online coursework and any required clinical training, you will need to prepare for the certification exam. The certification exam is typically administered by a recognized certification organization, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

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Is certification required after completing a PCT program?

While certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer or require Patient Care Technicians to be certified by passing an exam from the NHA or NCCT. Certification demonstrates competency.

Where do PCTs work?

PCTs can find employment in various healthcare settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes/long-term care facilities
  • Outpatient clinics/physician offices
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Home healthcare services

PCTs play crucial roles in supporting nursing staff, assisting with patient care duties, performing basic procedures, and ensuring patient comfort across these different environments.

What is the salary of a PCT?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for Nursing Assistants and Orderlies (which includes PCTs) in 2023 was $38,130. However, salaries can vary based on the geographic location, employer (hospital, clinic, etc.), level of experience, and specific job responsibilities.

What career options are available after becoming a PCT?

Obtaining a PCT certification can serve as a stepping stone to further career advancement in the healthcare field. Many PCTs use their experience and education as a foundation to pursue additional certifications or degree programs, such as:

  • Nursing (Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nursing)
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Respiratory Therapist

Continuing education and professional development can open up diverse career opportunities within the healthcare industry.

PCT vs CMA (Certified Medical Assistant)

Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) and Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) are both allied health professionals, but their roles differ:

  • CMAs typically work in outpatient settings, such as physician offices and clinics, performing administrative and clinical tasks.
  • PCTs are primarily employed in hospitals and long-term care facilities, focusing on direct patient care and support services.

Patient Care Technician classes by city

Final Thoughts

Obtaining an online Patient Care Technician certification is a great way to pursue a rewarding career in healthcare. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you are on the right path to becoming a certified PCT. Remember to choose a reputable online program, meet the program's prerequisites, complete the coursework and training, and prepare for and pass the certification exam.

Dreambound has put together numerous guides to help you navigate the certification process in this field, tailored for various locations. For insights into the process or requirements in different states, see some of our additional guides below.

Vduani Martinez
Written by
Vduani Martinez

Vduani Martinez is a part of the Growth team at Dreambound. She creates and fixes workflows and automation to guarantee seamless operations. On top of that, she manages databases to ensure all information is up to date. Vduani is a licensed Electronics Engineer who loves coffee and is a travel enthusiast. Out of the office, she enjoys going on road trips and discovering new cafes and restaurants.

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