Program Spotlight: Patient Care Technician

Learn the combined skills of nursing assisting, phlebotomy, and EKG

The field of nursing offers so many options when it comes to training and career choices. Nursing students can choose from becoming a home health aide in a short training program, earning a college degree to become an RN, or going the distance and attaining a master’s degree and becoming an MSN.

If you are looking for a “happy medium,” where you get a good amount of training without needing a college degree, you might want to consider becoming a Patient Care Technician (PCT). Patient Care Technicians get more training than a home health aide or nursing assistant, but not quite as much as a practical nurse. Most students can complete a PCT training program in about six months. That’s not bad!

What does a Patient Care Technician do?
PCTs are responsible for providing basic care to patients. They often work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other skilled care facilities. PCTs tend to be compassionate people who care about helping others. Here are some typical tasks they may do on the job:

  • Help patients with personal hygiene, like bathing or getting dressed
  • Draw a patient’s blood for testing
  • Administer an EKG
  • Measure and monitor vital signs, like blood pressure and pulse
  • Reassure patients who are feeling uneasy
  • Update patient medical records
  • Check supplies and restock them as needed
  • Provide other services, as required by the head nurse

The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, New Hampshire, is proud to offer a Patient Care Technician training program. If you are motivated to enter the field of nursing, this could be a good career training program for you. And the good news is that no prior experience is needed. Our programs are designed to introduce the beginner to the world of nursing and take you through all the skills and knowledge you need to become a PCT.

What classes do PCTs take?
The PCT program at Salter Nursing starts with the nursing assistant curriculum and then challenges our students to go beyond the nursing assistant skills by learning EKG and phlebotomy. Here is a sampling of the types of courses you would take if you enroll in our PCT program:

  • Introduction to anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Professional issues
  • Computers in healthcare
  • Phlebotomy (drawing blood)
  • Electrocardiography (EKG or ECG)
  • Licensed Nursing Assistant course

What are the benefits of becoming a Patient Care Technician?
People choose to become patient care technicians for a number of different reasons. Many people like the fact that you can get trained with marketable skills in just about six months or less. This allows you to get into the job market quickly. Other people like the hours that healthcare institutions offer. If you work three 12-hour shifts, you can sometimes have four days off in a row. Others find the work itself to be rewarding, because you are assisting patients every day with direct care that truly makes a difference.

Whatever your reasons, getting trained as a PCT provides you with marketable skills in the world healthcare and allied health. If you are ready for a challenge and ready to start a new career path, learn more about becoming a PCT at Salter Nursing. You will be glad you did!

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