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How to Upgrade your career as a CNA to a PCT │ Career Advancements | Americation Career and Training

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Americation Career and Training School

1. Patient Care Technician as a Profession

Patient Care Technician and Certified Nursing Assistant Career Comparison. If you are currently working as a CNA and are curious about a Patient Care Technician career here is what you need to know about the profession. CNA’s and PCT’s share of similar duties and work environments. For example, Patient Care Technicians working in hospitals are responsible for assisting patients in activities such as bathing, dressing, range of motion exercises and more. However, some key differences between Patient Care Technicians and the Certified Nursing Assistants is that the PCT has a strong clinical focus.  

Patient Care Technicians are certified to draw blood (Phlebotomy Technician) , administrator EKG’s (EKG Technician), perform patient care and Range of Motion Exercises, Gait, Wound Care Management Assistance, Therapeutic Exercises Assistance and more. This clinical focus helps distinguish PCT’s from CNA’s in the workplace. Patient Care Technicians have a larger scope of practice than CNA's.  A similarity between the two professions is that you must possess strong traits of empathy, compassion, and good communication skills to work with in these careers.

2. Why work in Health Care?

If you watch network T.V. dramas about working in healthcare, you may have an inaccurate view of what it means to work in a hospital. On the contrary to popular belief it is not all glam, drama, and rock and roll. Working in healthcare has its benefits but it may not be as what you see on T.V. Healthcare workers have the experience of working alongside people from all different backgrounds, levels of education, and cultures. With these high levels of diversity in multiple areas, Healthcare workers get the experience of working with people from all walks of life which will help them in treating different types of patients. Working in healthcare can give you a sense of fulfillment in your work as you can directly change the lives of your patients.

3. Why you may want to consider a Career Advancement from CNA to Patient Care Technician

If you find yourself working in a position where you feel unappreciated, unchallenged, underutilized, or if you feel like you are ready for more responsibility and diversity in your day to day work tasks you may want to consider taking on a Career Advancement program. PCT’s Career advancements allows people to obtain a greater scope of practice, have a work focus on tasks they want to do and increase the opportunity for promotions to help you work your way up and get higher paying jobs.

4. How Career Advancement programs can help you transition from one position to another 

If you are interested in a healthcare position that is different from the one you currently hold, odds are that the position you are interested in has additional requirements and work responsibilities. In the case of transitioning from a CNA to PCT, additional requirements are that you must obtain a Phlebotomy Technician Certification, EKG Technician Certification, and Patient Care Technician Certification. Also, having additional certifications in Telemetry Technician, Cardiac Monitor Technician, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Rehabilitation Therapy Technician, and Restorative Care Assistant will help make you a more attractive applicant. Taking on career advancement opportunities can increase your pay, job satisfaction and opportunity for future growth!

5. Want to take on a Career advancement program? Here’s How!



Step 1: Find the school that offers a Bridge Course Program or a Career Advancement Course Program.

If you to want to take on a career advancement opportunity Find a school that offers a bridge course or training program. This can be done by a simple google search, make sure to read the review left by the schools’ former students, not everyone is perfect but try to read at least some reviews to get an idea. Browsing the school’s sites will give you a feel about the information on the program. You should check out all available content on the sites so you can make an informed decision.

Step 2: Visit the school and learn about their bridge course program options.

Once you have confirmed your schools, call the school and schedule an appointment with the school to sit with an admissions counselor to discuss your education options for advancing your career form a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to Patient Care Technician (PCT). On the day of the appointment make sure that you have all your questions.

Step 3: Enroll into the school of your choice.


Each school will have its own checklist of requirements prior to enrolling into their program. Most commonly asked documents are:

i. Photo ID

ii. SSN

iii. High school diploma or Ged or Past Education Documents or Entrance Test (HESI A2)

Your availability

The most important question that you must ask yourself is “How much time can I invest into this program” since you will have to spend time for education so you should have a clear pathway ahead of you as to how you will plan on studying. Plan ahead and make arrangements if necessary.


Schools may offer different schedules such as morning, evening, weekends or online. Check with the school to find out the schedule that best meet your requirements.

Tuition Payment Plans

Check with the school to see what the mode of payments is and if you cannot pay in full, does the school have an option for payment plans etc. Check this information with school’s financial administrator.

Step 4: Education Delivery Options

Check out the school’s educational delivery option and what best fits your educational needs.

  • Online

  • On-campus

Step 5: Complete the program

10-Tips on how to study when in the patient care technician training program

  • Be regular

  • Attend all classes

  • Make sure to take your notes regularly

  • Go home and read the content at least 3 times

  • Question your self on topics and read more about them

  • Know your weak areas and focus more on making them stronger

  • Attempt end of chapter review questions as this will increase your confidence level

  • Be sure to ask questions to your instructors

  • Stay alert in the class

  • Don’t get distracted

B. 4-Tips on how to perfect the skills of clinicals in the program

  • Learn the steps

  • Practice the steps

  • Practice it several more times until your perfect your skills

  • Follow exactly as instructor by the instructor

C. 3-Tips on acing on your final and midterm exams

  • Read your notes that you took in the class

  • Make flash cards on topics that require them

  • Work on sample exams online for the patient care technician program.

D. Tips on being an active class participant

  • Ask questions to your instructor

  • Take notes

  • Pay attention to details

E. Staying ahead of the game all the time throughout the program

  • Make sure that you have read all the contents provided for the program

  • Make sure that you have attempted all your exams in the program.

  • Make sure that you are well versed with the clinical skills required to complete the program

  • When it comes time for class quizzes, midterms, finals, national certification exams you will thank yourself for actively reading the textbook. Also, getting a good amount of sleep every night, proper diet and exercise can make all the difference in your motivation and energy levels.

Step 6: Get certified

A. Tips on studying for the national certification exam

Dedicate your time and resources towards passing the national exam: National Certification exams can be nerve racking and cause students to experience some anxiety. However, if you do your research and look up people’s experiences with the exam and ask your instructor what additional material could be on the test will be give yourself a greater probability of getting the score you want. This next tip may make you cringe however it is incredibly useful to those who want to pass and get the highest scores! So, the tip is to READ YOUR TEXT BOOKS! Believe it or not but textbooks contain all the information that will be on your exams as well as some additional information that will help you when you are working out in the field.  Utilizing your time effectively throughout the program will help you achieve everything you need to and more!

B. One day before the exam and on the day of the exam

On the day before the exam you may want to make you brush up on anything that had given you difficultly throughout the program and even review the material you think you already know! Also, making sure you eat well the day before will help avoid unexpected indigestion the morning of your exam or god forbid while you are taking your exam. Lying out a comfortable outfit like sweatpants and a cool tie the night before will help you be comfortable during your exam and can avoid you wasting time the morning of. It can also be beneficial to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, so you are not tired while you are taking your exam.

6. Getting that money (Finding employment)

The job search can be the most exciting and stressful part of your education experience. Everything you went through; finding a school, going school, studying, sitting and passing your national exams was all for finding a job. In order to respond to job postings online you will have to create a resume. Resumes are documents that lists out a job applicant's qualifications. They include history’s on education, employment, internships, volunteer work, and core qualities. Some schools assist with resume preparation as these documents are extremely important and usually help determine whether or not your get an interview. 

After applying jobs, sending in resumes you will have to prepare for your interview. Interviews are a way for an employer to get a sense of potential future employees. These meetings usually consist of an employer asking you a series of questions. These questions and can be work related or random to see how quick you are on your feet. For some people interviews can be the source of much anxiety setting up mock interviews with a friend or family member can help you prepare to be on the receiving end of questioning.

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