How to Become a Patient Care Technician in New York
A Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
In New York, these employees work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.
Education and Training
To become a PCT in the state of New York, you need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent and either receive on-the-job training or complete a Patient Care Technician program.
Since PCTs perform their duties under the supervision of nurses and doctors, certification isn’t required, but most employers look for certified candidates when hiring. Most PCTs in New York take the NHA Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam to gain certification.
New York Patient Care Technician Requirements
To become a PCT, you typically need a high school diploma or GED. Some people start as Certified Nurse Assistants and receive on-the-job training in their clinic or hospital to become PCTs, while others complete a Patient Care Technician program at a vocational school or community college.
After completing a PCT program at a trade school or community college, students can take the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam.
Depending on your desired employer, you may also need certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other basic life support skills in addition to passing a background check and drug test.
Length & Cost
PCT programs typically take 6-12 months to complete and include classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. Tuition for these short programs varies from around $1,600 to $4,000, depending on the school.
Patient care techs certified in New York state also need to renew their status every two years by taking continuing education courses and passing a recertification exam.
PCT responsibilities include taking vital signs like blood pressure and temperature, measuring and recording blood glucose levels, preparing and administering medications, and assisting with patient mobility.
While many patient care tech duties are similar to those of a certified nurse assistant, a PCT usually has more responsibilities, often related to phlebotomy or EKG readings. Typical PCT duties include many of the following tasks, such as:
- Taking vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate
- Assisting patients with hygiene and meals
- Administering medications, including oral, topical, and injectable medicine
- Assisting with basic diagnostic tests, such as drawing blood or collecting urine samples
- Performing wound care and dressing changes
- Maintaining patient charts and updating patient information as needed
- Following infection control protocols and maintaining a clean and safe environment for patients
- Assisting with medical equipment and monitoring devices
It’s worth noting that the duties may vary by facility and employer, and some PCTs may have additional responsibilities based on their specific workplace.
Patient Care Technician Salaries in NY
The average salary for PCTs in New York is about $44,000 annually. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the specific employer.
PCTs working in New York City and Long Island tend to earn higher salaries than those working in other parts of the state, and those with more experience often make more than those just starting out. The average patient care technician salaries in major New York cities are as follows:
- New York City – $41,457
- Albany – $35,805
- Buffalo – $34,447
- Syracuse – $35,090
The career outlook for patient care technicians in the state of New York is positive, with an expected growth rate of 10% from 2020-2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is driven by an aging population and increased demand for healthcare services.