Allied health professionals are playing an increasingly critical role in providing quality and compassionate care for patients. From hospitals to long-term care facilities, patient care technicians (PCTs) find themselves delivering direct care as well as support services for physicians, nurses, and other medical staff.
To get started, PCTs are required to have a minimum of a high school diploma and complete a training program that includes hands-on, clinical experience. To further a career as a PCT or to stand out to employers, a PCT can also take a national exam to become a certified patient care technician (CPCT).
In response to growing demand in the industry, NPS is proud to offer a Certified Patient Care Technician certification program. This also includes options for existing PCTs to renew their existing certification and for program directors and educators to become certified instructors.
Let’s take a closer look at the PCT field, the NPS Certified Patient Care Technician program, and how you can take your career to the next level with national certification.
What exactly does a patient care technician do?
Patient care technicians work between medical professionals and patients to ensure the quality of care, support patient comfort, and alleviate strain on other resources. Addressing patient needs can come in many shapes and forms from helping bathe a patient to lending a listening ear for emotional support.
Many PCTs are responsible for helping to keep patient rooms tidy and changing linens out for patient comfort. Being hands-on with patients gives PCTs insight into how a patient is doing and the opportunity to share observations regarding mood, eating habits, and progress.
PCTs are also often in a unique position to provide support to nurses and physicians. They can be called on to take patient vitals, such as blood pressure or temperatures, or help feed individuals who need extra assistance. PCTs are also trained to draw blood, collect specimens, and operate certain medical devices such as an electrocardiogram.
Can a phlebotomist or EKG tech become a patient care technician?
With proper training and certification, anyone already in an allied health profession can pursue additional education to add to their career options. Phlebotomists and EKG technicians are particularly suited to this since they already have training in some of the core areas that PCTs are responsible for.
Becoming a patient care technician gives professionals the chance to work more closely with patients throughout the course of a day. Where phlebotomy and EKG tasks are finite, PCTs work to streamline the full scope of patient comfort and communication with care providers. This can help make professionals more appealing when applying for jobs, especially if they have prior allied health work history. What’s more, getting nationally certified can also give an edge to stand out with potential employers or demonstrate commitment to a role in an existing job.
When exploring options, it’s important to note that a patient care technician is a different role than a certified nursing assistant (CNA). A PCT is typically given more responsibility in a care setting and can perform phlebotomy and EKG tests while a CNA cannot.
Introducing the Certified Patient Care Technician Program at NPS
NPS has a long-standing history of providing national certification for allied health professionals, and the Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) certification program joins the ranks of accessible, quality content and exams.
This program is ideal for individuals who have completed their PCT training program and are looking to become nationally certified. NPS provides an online portal that contains everything PCTs need to prepare for and take the national exam – all for one flat fee.
The CPCT certification program includes comprehensive study and testing modules that confirm competency across all core PCT disciplines including, but not limited to:
- Daily living and care activities
- PPE and infection control
- Collecting and recording patient data
- Safety and prevention
While this can seem like a lot to cover, those who have completed their training should find the content and NPS study materials familiar. With unlimited practice exam attempts, users can also isolate the information that needs more attention before moving on to the final national exam. All materials are accessible online from anywhere at any time. The exam is proctored remotely as well, allowing PCTs to fit the assessment into their existing schedules.
Upon completion with a passing grade, NPS awards instant digital proof of national certification. Employers can check to verify these credentials at any time in the National Registry using the PCT’s unique ID or by scanning an NPS-issued digital badge.
Keep in mind that national certification must be renewed every two years. For this, NPS offers renewal certification for PCTs even if they were initially certified elsewhere. NPS recommends starting the recertification process at least one month before the current certification is set to expire. This gives individuals ample time to review materials and take the exam without paying reinstatement fees.