How to Become a Patient Care Technician in Texas
Texas residents looking for promising careers in the allied health field might consider becoming patient care technicians.
Completing an accredited school course or hands-on training program and obtaining the proper certification is essential for those wondering how to become patient care technicians in Texas.
Education and Training
Aspiring patient care technicians in TX usually have two options when it comes to training. Those who already work in a healthcare or nursing position may be able to receive on-the-job training from their current employer. Others might need to take classes at a Texas trade school.
On-the-Job Patient Care Tech Training
Many patient care technicians in TX start out in other allied health professions, such as:
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- EKG Technicians
- Medical Assistants
Employees in these positions perform a few patient care tech tasks as part of their regular workday duties. However, they need to develop additional abilities to round out their skill sets and qualify for patient care technician jobs in Texas.
Depending on which skills you need to learn, your employer may offer hands-on instruction on standard patient care practices like:
- Bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding patients
- Drawing blood and collecting fluid samples
- Operating EKG equipment
- Administering medication
- Catheter care
- Transferring patients to and from beds, chairs, and examination tables
What Courses Will You Take?
Those who lack previous healthcare experience can enroll in a trade school or community college program to learn the skills they need to qualify for patient care technician jobs in Texas. Although each school has a different curriculum, most patient care tech schools teach the following:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Communication and Health Occupation Professionalism
- Fundamentals of Direct Patient Care
- Patient Transfer Techniques
From the Classroom to an Externship
Students study these topics in traditional classroom settings, then practice their skills on medical mannequins in on-site labs. From there, they’ll need to complete clinical rotations during externships at local clinics and hospitals to gain hands-on experience working with real patients.
How Long is Patient Care Tech Training in TX?
Most students who enroll in patient care technician programs complete their courses in six to ten months, depending on whether they take full-time or part-time classes. Accelerated courses and on-the-job training programs might only take four to six weeks to complete.
How Much Does it Cost?
Generally speaking, total costs for patient care technician programs in TX range from about $1,500 and $2,000. Exact prices for books, fees, and tuition vary across different schools. If you work in a medical facility during your training, your employer may be willing to reimburse you or cover the cost of your program.
Texas Patient Care Technician Requirements
Patient care technicians are essentially nursing assistants with phlebotomy and EKG training. As such, you’ll need to be a certified nursing assistant before you can qualify for patient care technician jobs in Texas.
The state’s Health and Human Services Commission regulates CNA licenses in Texas. To obtain your CNA credential, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Show proof of identity, certifying that you are at least 18 years of age
- Show successful completion of an approved nurse’s aide training course
- Pass a competency exam through the Prometric website
If you plan on working in a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility, you can also apply for placement on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry (NAR).
Most employers in Texas require their patient care techs to have an official Basic Life Support credential from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Some schools include this certification in their standard curriculum. You can also find classes on the Red Cross and AHA websites.
Obtaining a BLS credential shows your certification and competency in:
- First Aid
Certified Patient Care Technician
You might also consider getting a Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) credential from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Although this is an optional certification, it might make it easier to find patient care jobs in Texas. To be eligible for this credential, you’ll need to have:
- A high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- A certificate or degree from an accredited patient care tech program OR at least one year of supervised patient care experience
Salaries in TX
How Much Money Can You Make?
While the average patient care technician salary in Texas is about $40,558 per year, your annual earnings may differ depending on which part of the state you live in.
Check the list below to find regional salary information for patient care technicians in TX.
- Austin $40,687
- Dallas $43,378
- El Paso $38,803
- Houston $40,901
- San Antonio $42,332
- Amarillo $35,285
- Corpus Christi $38,197
Texas patient care techs who specialize in a particular area of the medical field, such as urgent care, pediatrics, labor and delivery, or oncology, might earn higher salaries than those performing general patient care duties in a hospital or long-term care facility.
What Do They Do?
As the job title suggests, patient care technicians in TX provide direct care for patients in various medical and healthcare facilities. Workday duties for these allied health professionals typically include:
- Monitoring patients’ vital signs
- Changing bandages and providing basic wound care
- Assisting patients with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and eating
- Collecting fluid samples and specimens
- Administering injections and oral medications
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics places patient care technicians in the Nursing Assistants and Orderlies category. Professionals in this field are likely to see a five-percent growth rate in the demand for patient care tech jobs over the next decade. Qualifying patient care technicians in TX can take advantage of this increase by applying for well-paying positions in their areas.