Patient Care Technician

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The Patient Care Technician (PCT), also called a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) program prepares the Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to practice in primary healthcare settings that provide continuous, comprehensive care such as a hospital. PCTs, in addition to performing normal CNA duties, collect samples, perform EKGs, and provide more in-depth assistance to patients as directed by the medical staff. PCT students that train at the Arizona Medical Training Institute gain a solid foundation in clinical and laboratory practices that address the broader healthcare needs of patients. The program of study provides in-depth knowledge and clinical experiences in areas such as: advanced nursing skills for the CNA, basic phlebotomy skills and performing Electrocardiograms, using 12 lead Electrograph machines. The AMTI instructors covering the advanced nursing, phlebotomy and EKG components are in a word – excellent. Upon successful completion of this blended eLearning eight (8) weekend (Saturday/Sunday) program, students must complete a 120 hour unpaid externship providing direct patient care as a CNA, and applying many of the clinical nursing skills acquired in the classroom as dirsected by the host medical staff. Upon graduation students can become duel certified nationally as a Patient Care Tech (PCT) through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) as well as a Cardiographic Technician (CCT) through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International Registry giving students two different career paths.

COURSE OVERVIEW:

Patient Care Technician placing EKG leads

AMTI already has the top Certified Nursing Assistant Program in Arizona. The PCT Program is a natural extension, building upon this excellence through increased focus on advanced nursing skills for the CNA, integration of basic phlebotomy skills (AMTI’s Phlebotomy Technician Program is the only program in Arizona approved by NAACLS – National Accrediting Agency for the Clinical Lab Sciences), and Cardiographic Technician Training. All three components incorporate a blended eLearning and classroom interface, the successful conclusion of which transitions to a 120 hour externship at a hospital or other suitable venue arranged by AMTI. The flow of the course is as follows:

Advanced Nursing Skills (8 hours eLearning + 2 weekends of Class)
The Patient Care Technician course is designed to provide a solid foundation covering the skill and care regimens essential to providing quality care at this level of nursing. The curriculum is augmented with hands on skill development in the classroom along with practical application in a clinical setting during the externship phase. The course includes an introduction into the advanced care setting, with concentrated focus on advanced nursing skills such as sterile techniques, advanced wound care, urinary care, nutrition, and respiratory skills used by the patient care technician. In addition, care of different patient groups will be expanded upon covering the rehab, surgical, pediatric, obstetric, and psychiatric patient.

Basic Phlebotomy Module (10 hours of eLearning + 3 weekends of Class)
This section introduces the student to venipuncture techniques, safety, disposal and complications. Students will learn to use venipuncture equipment properly, blood and non-blood specimen collection procedures, centrifugation and point-of-care testing regulations. This training will not lead to a certification as a Phlebotomy Technician. Students desiring American Society of Clinical Pathology or American Medical Technologist Certification should select AMTI’s Blended eLearning Phlebotomy Technician Program.

Cardiographic Technician Program (12 hours of eLearning + 3 weekends of Class)
This section prepares students to perform electrocardiograph. Students learn how to efficiently perform rhythm and 12 lead EKG testing, and evaluate and interpret the electrocardiograms. Holter Monitoring and Stress testing techniques will also be introduced. Students will also learn the Anatomy and Physiology, Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology together with the required medical terminology. Upon successful completion of the course students will be eligible to sit for the National Examination through Cardiovascular Credentialing International Registry (CCI) to obtain their National Certification (CCT). Qualification to take the exam is the exclusive right of CCI.

Externship (120 hours)
Upon successful completion of all three sections of the PCT program, the clinical practicum must be completed at designated clinical sites assigned to you by AMTI. Students must be able to successfully complete 120 hours of clinical practicum to formally graduate. Students must be flexible as regards their assigned externship schedule (1st, 2nd, 3rd shift – M-F, S/S) which could vary as regards the needs and availability of your assigned location. In addition, students will perform their externship as a Certified Nursing Assistant, performing CNA duties as well as duties assigned by the site medical staff that would cover some if not all areas taught during the course.

Classes are scheduled on the weekend allowing students to maintain their normal Monday thru Friday schedule. For the licensed Arizona CNA Student, an (8) eight Saturday and Sunday (8:00am to 4:30pm) Weekend Program is available for selection. eLearning lessons will be assigned as part of the course syllabus.

View PCT Class Schedule

What are the PCT program prerequisites?:

  • The Copy of High School Diploma, G.E.D., or College Grade Report.
  • Verification of licensure in good standing as an Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant/LNA.
  • Must complete the AMTI Health Declaration. The Health Declaration is a health and safety document ensuring essential immunizations and clearance for participation by a licensed healthcare provider. Potential students must be able to meet all noted “essential functions”.
  • Students must have current CPR @ the Healthcare Provider level and First Aid.
  • Students must read/sign Safety and Infection Control Policy, HIPAA Release, Voluntary Assumption of Risk, and Externship Agreement.
  • Students must be willing to submit to a drug test and/or criminal background check, if requested. Note: Students should be aware that Employers could require a drug test and/or criminal background check as part of their employment process. Please be aware that if a student fails the drug test, criminal background check & fails to become immunized they cannot become employed.

What are the PCT completion requirements?:

  • Complete 30 eLearning Hours and 128 classroom hours and 120 externship hours for a total of 278 hours.
  • Score 80% or higher on classroom exams, 80% or higher on clinical grades, and 80% or higher on the course final exam. Achieve 85% or higher on your externship evaluation.
  • Pass the NHA and CCI National Certification exams ( optional…but highly recommended!)

How much does PCT training cost?:

  • Course Tuition is $1,890.00 includes textbooks/lab materials, and uniform top.
  • Students, at the time of registration, can pay the tuition in full, or utilize a 2-payment ($945.00), 3-payment ($520.00) , or 6-payment ($260.00) approach in meeting the tuition requirements for the program. Tell me about eCashier
  • Optional: NHA National Certification exam leading to a CPCT (NHA) designation = $155.00. CCI National Certification exam leading to a CCT (CCI) designation = $160.00. For the CCI exam, students must pass a multiple-choice exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (www.cci-online.org). CCI reserves the right to deny an application, revoke the eligibility of a candidate, or take action against any registrant who has been convicted, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere (no contest) to an offense that is classified as a misdemeanor or felony which is directly or indirectly related to patient care or public health. Crimes which may directly or indirectly relate to patient care or public health include, but are not limited to murder; attempted murder; manslaughter; rape; attempted rape; sexual assault; sexual abuse; assault; driving while intoxicated or impaired; controlled substance abuse; and fraudulently altering medical documentation, insurance claims, and medical prescriptions. In order to maintain their credentials, a CCT must complete continuing education courses or retest every three years. They must also pay maintenance dues and comply with the organization’s code of ethics.

Where can a PCT work?:

  • Patient Care Technicians work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, nursing homes and long-term care facilities helping patients who suffer from a variety of diseases and injuries. They work under the supervision of nurses and doctors to perform routine tasks and provide basic patient care.
  • Job duties of patient care techs (also called assistants) include responding to patients’ calls for help, bathing and dressing patients, feeding them, monitoring and documenting vital signs, performing basic laboratory tasks, EKGs, and certain invasive skills as well as assisting nurses and doctors during examinations. They often have more direct patient contact than other members of a healthcare team.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of patient care technicians is projected to grow 19% between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. The job outlook for these positions is growing due to the long-term care needs of the increasing elderly population. Due to the aging baby boomer population, the healthcare industry in general is expected to see a considerable increase in growth over the next decade. As the population continues to age, the rate of heart disease will become more prevalent and the demand for Cardiographic Technicians is expected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not have the specific employment outlook for certified cardiographic technicians; however, the organization did report that the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians was projected to increase 29% between 2010 and 2020.
  • Pay varies by experiences, employer and locality. The employment opportunities and job growth for this career are considered strong. The best employment opportunities would be for technicians and technologists trained in several procedures and holding multiple certifications. PayScale.com reported that EKG monitor technicians earned a median annual salary of almost $28,000 as of March 2012. Graduates of this program can seek employment in hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, and cardiologists’ offices. Cardiographic techs can improve their job prospects by sitting for the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).