How to Become a Patient Care Technician in Florida
Patient care technician jobs in Florida are an excellent fit for individuals who want to begin promising healthcare careers.
Extensive training and education are essential for those hoping to work in this profession.
Obtaining an official certification can help you qualify for higher-paying positions in this role, as well.
Education and Training
Wondering how to become a patient care technician in Florida? Start by undergoing a training or educational program that prioritizes direct patient care. Some people choose to complete on-the-job training and work their way up from another entry-level healthcare or nursing position, such as:
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- EKG Tech
- Medical Assistant
Patient Care Technician School in FL
Enrolling in an accredited patient care tech program at a Florida trade school or community college is another way to develop your skills and qualify for a patient care technician job in Florida. While each institution has its own unique curriculum, most patient care tech schools cover topics like:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Fundamentals of Patient Care and Treatment
- Medical Recordkeeping
- Hospital and Medical Setting Procedures
- EKG Operation and Interpretation
- Injections and Phlebotomy
- Clinical Nursing Practices
Additional Skills Needed
Students also learn how to communicate with patients and develop a comforting yet professional bedside manner. Depending on where you plan to work, you may also want to take specialized classes on geriatric, pediatric, occupational and physical therapy, oncology, or labor and delivery patient care.
Patient Care Tech Externships
To earn your certificate or diploma from a patient care tech school in Florida, you’ll need to complete an externship at a local clinic or care facility. Students perform the duties they’ve learned about in class to gain hands-on training during these programs.
How Long is Patient Care Technician School in Florida?
Most patient care tech programs take roughly one year to complete. However, some courses last about eight to 10 months. Those who choose to undergo on-the-job training instead of enrolling in a trade school might be able to finish their training in as little as six months.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost for most patient care technician programs in Florida range between $1,500 and $2,500. Depending on which school you want to attend, you might have to pay as much as $5,000 or over $8,000 in tuition, books, and fees.
Florida Patient Care Technician Requirements
An official Certified Nursing Assistant credential from the Florida State Board of Nursing is the minimum requirement for those hoping to become patient care technicians in FL. Having this certification shows you have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and adequately perform patient care duties.
To obtain a CNA license in FL, you’ll need to submit the following:
- Proof of age and identity, certifying that you are at least 18 years old
- A copy of your high school diploma, GED, or equivalent AND/OR a certificate or diploma from an approved CNA or PCT training program
- Completed application form and fees
- An electronic fingerprinting report from your Livescan background screening
Scheduling a Test Date
Within 72 hours of submitting these documents, you’ll receive:
- Your testing eligibility status
- A scheduled test date that falls within a period of seven to 14 business days
- An admission ticket to take your Prometric nursing assistant competency examination
It takes about 72 hours to receive your exam scores. Those who pass their tests will get their physical CNA license within seven to 14 business days and can qualify for entry-level patient care technician jobs in Florida.
Patient Care Technician License
A Certified Patient Care Technician credential (CPCT) is optional in FL. However, having this certification is an excellent way to stand out among other patient care techs when applying for jobs. Some employers might even require candidates to have this additional certification before starting the hiring process.
National Healthcareer Association
Most people hoping to become certified patient care technicians in FL take their certification exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To be eligible to take this test, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Show proof of graduation from a patient care tech training or education program within the last five years OR evidence of at least one year of supervised patient care technician work experience
Once you submit the necessary documents and pass your exam, you can start applying for patient care technician jobs in Florida clinics, research hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
Patient Care Technician Salaries in FL
Although the average patient care technician salary in Florida is roughly $39,873 per year, you might make more or less than that, depending on which part of the state you live in. Take a look at the following salary information for patient care techs in different FL regions to determine your estimated annual earnings.
- Gainesville $41,059
- Fort Meyers $39,811
- Orlando $43,035
- Tampa $41,100
- Daytona $35,505
- Miami $40,310
- Panama City $36,795
PCTs who work in home care or find jobs in private-practice doctor’s offices typically make more than those in hospitals and government-funded nursing facilities. You may also be able to earn performance-based raises that boost your annual earnings even higher.
What Do They Do?
A patient care technician in Florida performs many of the same tasks as a certified nursing assistant. However, in addition to monitoring vital signs, providing emotional support, and helping patients bathe, groom, dress, and feed themselves, these healthcare employees are responsible for:
- Cleaning wounds and changing bandages
- Inserting catheters
- Turning bed-bound patients to prevent pressure sores
- Helping patients with mobility issues
- Collecting fluid samples and specimens
- Administering prescribed medications
Like other professions in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Nursing Assistants and Orderlies category, patient care tech job opportunities are likely to increase by about five percent between 2021 and 2031. Many patient care technicians in Florida eventually move on to LPN and RN careers, providing more job openings for newly-certified techs.