What Do Patient Care Technicians/Associates Do?
Patient care technicians or associates (PCTs or PCAs) provide various aspects of patient care under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or doctor. They provide communication, comfort, and safety for the patient and typically have more clinical responsibility and technical skills than nursing aides. They assist patients with walking, bathing, eating, dressing, and getting in and out of beds, wheelchairs, and stretchers. Other duties may include taking and recording temperature, pulse, weight, and respiration rate, and obtaining specimens as directed by medical staff. They may also prepare rooms, sterilize equipment and escort patients to exam rooms and surgery. Some facilities create job ladders for PCTs/PCAs. Those with more technical skills and experience have more patient care responsibilities and receive a higher salary.
PCTs/PCAs seem to share a job description with certified nursing assistants; however, there is no uniform requirement for certification of PCTs/PCAs, as there is for certified nursing assistants. Some states do not recognize PCTs/PCAs as functionally separate from certified nursing assistants and require certification regardless of job title. Even so, the trained PCT/PCA who has passed one or two of the available certification examinations will earn a significantly higher wage.
Where Do Patient Care Technicians/Associates Work?
PCTs’/PCAs’ duties involve caring for people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. Work settings for PCTs/PCAs include hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and health care agencies. They also may provide care in patients’ homes.
What Do Patient Care Technicians/Associates Earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet publish employment and earnings data for patient care technicians. As of 2019, glassdoor.com reports that patient care technicians earn an average annual salary of $35,591 nationwide.
Supply and Demand
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Patient Care Technicians is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, and the profession is listed as one of the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Bright Outlook” occupations. Click here.
New York Educational Requirements
In many cases, PCTs/PCAs receive classroom and hands-on training through the hospital or facility that will employ them. Training and education requirements for PCTs/PCAs who work in hospitals or physician offices vary by institution. In some instances, employers may require a high school diploma or an associate degree and will provide on-the-job training. Others may require prior nursing aide experience or an LPN or CNA certificate or degree.
New York Certification/Licensure Requirements
New York does not require PCTs/PCAs to be licensed or certified, primarily because they work under the supervision of a licensed RN who completes any tasks that require a licensed professional.
For information about obtaining a PCT/PCA certification, please to the NHA website.
Education Programs in New York (subject to change)
|ABC Training Center
2471 Morris Ave
Bronx, NY 10468
45 W 34th St.
New York, NY 10001
|New York Medical Career Training Center
36-09 Main Street
Flushing NY 11354
500 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018
|New Age Training
145 West 30th St
New York, NY 10001
474 Fulton Ave
Hempstead, NY 11550
1930 Veterans Hwy
Islandia, NY 11749
|Medgar Evers College
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
|Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451