How to Be a Patient Care Tech in 5 Steps

Want to know how to be a patient care tech? Check out our blog for a step-by-step guide on what you need to do to enter this in-demand field.

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Introduction

Are you interested in becoming a patient care tech?Working in the medical field can be extremely rewarding, and patient care techs play an important role in providing care and assistance to patients. If you are compassionate and have good communication skills, this might be the perfect career for you.

Becoming a patient care tech is a great way to get started in the medical field, and it can lead to many different career paths. If you are thinking about becoming a patient care tech, here are five steps to get you started:

Step 1: Complete a patient care tech program.
Step 2: Get certified by the National Healthcare Association or American Medical Technologists.
Step 3: Become registered with the state Board of Nursing as a patient care technician.
Step 4: Pass a criminal background check.
Step 5: Find a job as a patient care tech

Step One: Get a High School Diploma or GED

The first step to becoming a patient care tech is to obtain a high school diploma or GED. Although some jobs may not require a high school diploma, most employers prefer to hire patient care techs with at least a high school education. In addition, some states require patient care techs to complete an accredited training program, which typically can only be done with a high school diploma or GED.

Step Two: Complete an accredited patient care tech training program.

There are many accredited patient care tech training programs available across the country. These programs typically take between six and twelve months to complete and cover topics such as patient medical records, HIPAA privacy compliance, anatomy and physiology, and basic medical terminology. Upon completion of an accredited training program, patients will be prepared to sit for the national certification exam.

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Step Three: Sit for the National Certification Exam.

The National Certification Exam is administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA) and is required in order to become a certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT). The exam covers topics such as communications, infection control, safety and emergency procedures, and medical record documentation. To be eligible to take the exam, patients must have completed an accredited training program and have a current CPR certification.

Step Four: Find Employment.

Once you have obtained your CPCT certification, you are now eligible to find employment as a Patient Care Technician. There are many job opportunities available in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. You can also search for job openings online on job boards such as Indeed.com or Careerbuilder.com.

Step Five: Maintain Certification.

In order to maintain your CPCT certification, you must complete continuing education credits every two years. The NHA offers many different continuing education courses that can be completed online or in-person. Once you have completed the required number of credits, you will need to submit an application for recertification along with the appropriate fees

Step Two: Enroll in an Approved Patient Care Technician Program

Now that you know what it takes to be a patient care technician, it’s time to get the education and training you need to succeed in this rewarding career.

The first step is to enroll in an accredited patient care technician program. These programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. They usually take about a year to complete and include both classroom and clinical instruction.

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When choosing a program, make sure it is approved by the state in which you plan to work. Each state has its own requirements for patient care technicians, and an approved program will ensure that you meet them.

After completing an accredited patient care technician program, you will be eligible to take the National Healthcare Association’s Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam. This exam is voluntary, but it will give you an extra edge when you apply for jobs. Employers often prefer or require applicants who are certified.

Step Three: Become Certified as a Patient Care Technician

To work as a patient care technician, you will need to become certified. Certification is not required in every state, but it is becoming more common and is generally preferred by employers.

The certification process varies by state, but in general, you will need to pass an exam administered by a state-approved organization. Some states also require you to complete a training program or have prior experience working in a healthcare setting.

Once you have met the requirements for certification in your state, you will be able to use the title of “Certified Patient Care Technician” or “CPCT.”

In order to maintain your certification, you will need to renew it every two to three years. The renewal process usually requires completing continuing education credits or retaking the certification exam.

Step Four: Find a Job as a Patient Care Technician

Now that you have your certification as a patient care technician, it’s time to start looking for a job. The best place to start your search is online at healthcare websites or job boards. You can also search the websites of hospitals or clinics in your area.

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Once you have found a few potential openings, the next step is to submit your resume and application. Be sure to tailor your resume to each specific job opening, highlighting your skills and experience that are relevant to the position.

After you have applied, the next step is to prepare for your interview. Review common interview questions and practice your answers. Be sure to dress professionally and arrive early for your interview.

During the interview, be sure to sell yourself and highlight why you would be the perfect candidate for the job. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience and skills, as well as questions about patient care in general.

If you are offered the position, congratulations! If not, don’t be discouraged – keep searching and interviewing until you find the perfect job for you.

Step Five: Advance Your Career

Advancement opportunities for patient care techs are best in larger facilities and those that offer more specialized services. As you gain experience and continuing education, you may move into a lead tech position or take on additional responsibilities, such as training new hires. Some patient care techs goes on to become nurses or other licensed medical professionals.

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