How to Become a Patient Care Technician in Alaska
Patient care technicians (PCTs) play a critical role in providing direct patient care and support in various healthcare settings in Alaska. Becoming a certified patient care technician is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and gain recognition for your expertise in the field of patient care. In this article, we will discuss how to become a certified patient care technician in Alaska, including eligibility requirements, certification exam overview, registration, renewal requirements, and career opportunities.
Eligibility Requirements for Certification Exam in Alaska
For patient care technician certification in Alaska, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Completed an accredited patient care technician training program or have equivalent work experience
- Possess a valid government-issued identification
Certification Exam Overview
The certification exam is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and covers a range of topics related to patient care, including medical procedures, vital signs, and infection control. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. To pass the exam, you need to score at least 70%.
Registering for the Certification Exam in Alaska
To register for the certification exam in Alaska, follow these steps:
- Visit the NHA website and create an account
- Fill out the application form and submit it
- Pay the exam fee, which is typically around $160
Tips for Preparing for the Certification Exam
To increase your chances of passing the certification exam, follow these tips:
- Review the exam content outline provided by the NHA
- Use study materials, such as practice exams and study guides, which are available on the NHA website
- Practice time management to ensure you have enough time to answer all the questions
- Get enough rest before the exam day
- Arrive early on the exam day to avoid stress and anxiety
Renewal Requirements for Certification in Alaska
Certification as a patient care technician is valid for two years in Alaska. To renew your certification, you need to complete continuing education requirements, which include:
- 10 continuing education units (CEUs)
- Successful completion of an approved CPR course
- Payment of renewal fee
Finding Patient Care Technician Programs in Alaska
To become a certified patient care technician in Alaska, you must complete an accredited patient care technician training program or have equivalent work experience. Some ways to find PCT training programs in Alaska include:
- Check with local community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools.
- Search online for PCT training programs in Alaska.
- Contact healthcare facilities in Alaska to inquire about PCT training programs they may offer.
- Check with professional organizations, such as the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, for information on PCT training programs.
- Visit the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development website to search for training programs and apprenticeships related to healthcare.
Patient care technician programs may cover some of the following topics:
- Patient safety
- Medical terminology
- Body systems
- Basic anatomy and bodily functions
Those looking to become a certified nursing assistant or patient care technician should consider one of the following PCT Schools in Alaska:
- Prince William Sound College: This college in Valdez offers a Patient Care Technician program that provides a combination of theory and clinical practice. Students gain practical experience in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics as part of the program.
- Kenai Peninsula College: Located in Soldotna, this college has a comprehensive PCT program available. The program aims to teach fundamental skills to new healthcare workers, enabling them to be effective members of the healthcare team. It covers 60 hours of classroom training, 32 hours of skill lab practice, and 48 hours of clinical experience.
PCT Salaries in Alaska
Patient Care Technicians in Alaska have an annual salary range of $36,135 per year. Salaries for PCTs vary based on experience, location, and employer. Certified Patient Care Technicians generally earn higher salaries than non-certified PCTs. Additionally, many employers offer additional compensation in the form of benefits such as medical insurance and paid time off.
Career Opportunities for Certified Patient Care Technicians in Alaska
The job prospects for nursing assistants, including patient care technicians, are expected to grow 14% from 2020 to 2030 in Alaska. PCTs typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare facilities in Alaska. PCTs may also work in specialty areas, such as oncology or pediatrics, or in-home health or hospice care, providing direct patient care in the patient’s home.