If you are a caring individual who enjoys helping people when they need it the most, an entry into the healthcare industry as a patient care technician is the right move for you.
Using a government program known as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), you'll only need 23 weeks to be ready for your patient care technician certification. After your training is complete, you'll be ready to start your new career right away.
What about the cost? WIOA funding can pay up to $4,000 in financial assistance for online training programs in the healthcare industry. And becoming a patient care technician is a good place to start.
What is a patient care technician? That's the essential person who helps people when they need to use the restroom, serves meals in a clinical setting and keeps areas tidy and ready for the next patient.
Unlike medical assistants who often do administrative or clinical work, a patient care technician is able to work directly with patients. Sometimes called nursing assistants, these technicians support nurses in their work to help care for those in compromised health throughout the day.
PCTs can develop important, supportive relationships with patients and their families. You can become a much-needed advocate and liaison between the patient and the other members of the healthcare team. When monitoring a patient's vital signs, for example, you can bring a smile to their face just by showing you care.
While patient care technicians often receive on-the-job training, they do require a specific credential called a Certified Patient Care Technician Certification, or a CPCT. It is issued by the National Healthcareer Association. You need to complete high school and a training course, too.
An online course can help prepare you for the certification exam and set you up for success as you look for a job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be many positions available in the next decade. In fact, officials expect an additional 137,800 jobs for qualified applicants, a 9% increase, by 2028.
The estimated annual salary for a PCT is between $21,000 and $67,000, depending on the location.
If you are interested in a long-lasting career in the healthcare industry, becoming a patient care technician may be a good fit for you. Besides working directly with patients, you'll be part of a medical team that can show you different career paths if you ever want to continue your training.
PCTs work in hospitals as well as nursing homes. Because the work depends heavily on the needs of patients, chances are each day will be different. Of course, you may need to work night shifts or over the weekend.
The reward for those busy days? You'll enjoy meaningful relationships with both patients and the nursing staff who will rely on your good work as a crucial member of the healthcare team.
If you are a military spouse or your training is provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover all or some of your tuition.
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