Patient care technicians, also known as nursing aides, perform basic lab tests, record and maintain patient treatment, draw blood and assist patients with everyday tasks. There are no degrees specifically for patient care technicians, but certificate programs are available. Students will learn applicable laws and ethics, patient care skills and healthcare-focused clerical skills. They will gain first-hand experience performing non-invasive tests and assisting patients with daily activities. The program has a strong emphasis on technical aspects of the field, but success also requires strong interpersonal communication skills and these are featured as well.
To enter a Patient Care Technician Certificate program, students typically need to have completed a series of prerequisite courses that provide the foundation for clinical training. Courses may include an Introduction to the Healthcare Field, Medical Terminology, Basic Human Anatomy and CPR. These courses are typically completed over the course of 2 semesters.
Certificates in Patient Care
Certificate programs in patient care often require that students have previously completed basic medical courses. Certificate programs emphasize technical medical terms and the performance of tests. They teach students to read and understand lab results as well as how to treat and care for patients. Courses may include the following:
- Patient Care
- Human Anatomy
- Medical Laws and Ethics
- Clinical Practice Principles
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants earned a mean annual salary of $26,820 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment was projected to increase by 18% during 2014-2024. One of the primary factors behind this anticipated growth is the aging population; as the elderly population grows, there is a greater need for nursing care.
Continuing Education Information
Aides working in healthcare facilities are required by federal law to enter into a certification program. The law requires at least 75 hours of training and a passing score on a standardized examination. Additionally, because advancement as a patient care technician is limited, those seeking higher-level positions may want to enter into a degree program in nursing.
Patient care technicians have the opportunity to earn various degree programs to further their careers with courses such as Introduction to the Healthcare Field, Medical Terminology, Basic Human Anatomy and CPR. It is required under federal law that nursing aides enter certification programs in order to maintain licensure.