Patient Care Technicians (PCT) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) both play essential roles in the medical field. These positions are similar, but  a PCT ia able to perform more tasks than a CNA and typically earn more money.

Many people find the work rewarding because both jobs entail interacting with patients and helping them through difficult times in their lives. If you're interested in working in the medical field but don't want to take the time to train as a nurse or physician, consider becoming a CNA or a PCT.

Job Description

CNAs provide basic care to patients, including taking vital signs, feeding and bathing. In addition, CNAs often work with medical technology, such as billing software, health information software and medical record charting software.  
PCTs perform the same tasks as CNAs, but they're also trained to perform additional medical jobs, such as ECG and EKG readings and  Phlebotomy drawing blood.


If you’re motivated to provide hands-on assistance and make a real difference in patients’ lives, earning your PCT can prepare you for your dream job.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals rely on  PCT - Patient Care Technician  to assist with the critical day-to-day care some patients need.  As a PCT, you’ll provide hands-on assistance to serve patients’ basic needs, as well as work alongside other healthcare professionals.

More and more patients require special care, sometimes around-the-clock. Needs vary from patient to patient, making it vital that the Patient Care Technician/Assistant has a diverse range of knowledge and skills to provide their basic care.

As a PCT Patient Care Technician/Assistant, you may perform some or all of the following tasks:

  • Provide basic patient care — bathing, feeding, catheter care, etc


  • Acquire, distribute and administer patient care supplies


  • Perform safety checks and ensure cleanliness in patient rooms


  • Accommodate the special needs of patients accordingly


  • Obtain EKG readings and monitor vital signs


  • Perform phlebotomy procedures


  • Provide emotional support to patients and families, particularly coping with grief and death


As the elderly population increases, healthcare facilities, hospitals and nursing homes have a great demand for qualified PCT - Patient Care Technicians. Since this profession is needed in many practices, you may have a variety of opportunities available to you. Earning your PCT can help you launch a career in the healthcare path you choose.


                                                      Important Qualities

Communication skills.  A PCT  must communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers (nurse, doctor, etc.)

Compassion. A PCT care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. A PCT must have patience to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. A PCT spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.


​​Education Requirements


​To be a CNA, you're  not required to have a high school diploma or GED, and you must pass the State CNA exam. The Harborview School offers a CNA program that includes an emphasis on communication skills and compassionate caregiving. Students learn procedural skills, such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning, through lecture, DVDs, role-playing and laboratory practice.

To work as a PCT, you typically need to complete a patient care technician certificate program. This program combines classroom lectures, lab work and clinical experiences. Courses cover the necessary skills of the job, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), phlebotomy, electrocardiography and first aid. Some programs might also include courses in communication, infection control and the principles and practices of hemodialysis.

In some states or institutions, you can get hired as a CNA and then train on the job to become a PCT.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, and employment of medical assistants is projected to grow even faster – 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. Both of these occupations are growing faster than the average occupation. Aging of the baby boomer population will continue to increase demand for medical positions, including CNAs and PCTs.

Patient Care Technician - PCT

Harborview phlebotomy - programs - courses - certification

To become a PCT, you’ll need to have a high school diploma and complete a PCT training program, which includes a CNA Certification and a Phlebotomy Tecnician Certification. After completing a PCT training program, or acquiring equivalent work experience, you can then become a certified patient care technician/assistant (CPCT/A) by passing a PCT Certification exam.  

Do to Corvid 19 all classes have been Cancelled until March 31, 2020. At that time we will reevaluate the starting of classes. 

Please call us for more information on registering for future classes