Pursuing Patient Care Technician Certification in California: Career Steps, Tips, and Opportunities

Are you interested in a career in healthcare that involves providing direct care and support to patients? Consider becoming a certified patient care technician (PCT) in California. PCTs play a vital role in the healthcare industry by providing hands-on care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. In this article, we will discuss how to become a certified patient care technician in California, including eligibility requirements, certification exam overview, registration, programs in the state, salaries, job outlook, and career opportunities.

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Eligibility Requirements for Certification Exam in California

To be eligible to take the certification exam in California, you must meet the following 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 California

To register for the certification exam in California, 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

Patient Care Technician Programs in California

To become a certified patient care technician in California, you must complete an accredited patient care technician training program or have equivalent work experience. Some ways to find PCT training programs in California include:

  • Check with local community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools.
  • Search online for PCT training programs in California.
  • Contact healthcare facilities in California to inquire about PCT training programs they may offer.

Some of the top PCT programs in California are as follows:

  • Healthcare Career College located in California, specializes in training students in various healthcare fields such as medical billing, medical coding, and phlebotomy. The courses offered here also prepare students for further programs like Vocational Nurse and Ultrasound Technician. For those currently working in the medical field, the Phlebotomy Technician course could be a good option.
  • Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles has a number of degree and certificate programs that prepare students for a career in the healthcare industry. Course objectives include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, administrative procedures, legal issues in healthcare, pharmacology and clinical procedures.
  • Simi Institute for Careers and Education located in Simi Valley specializes in medical assistant programs. The training includes basic healthcare topics such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, computer concepts and applications for healthcare professionals.

Career Opportunities for Certified Patient Care Technicians in California

Certified PCTs have promising career opportunities in California’s growing healthcare industry. Some career paths for PCTs include:

  • Healthcare professionals work in a range of facilities across California, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other institutions that provide medical care.
  • Working in specialized areas, such as oncology, pediatrics, or in-home health and hospice care, entails offering direct attention to patients in the comfort of their homes.

Salaries for Patient Care Technicians in California

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a patient care technician in California is $35,000 per year. Salaries may vary depending on the employer, location, and experience of the PCT.

Job Outlook for Patient Care Technicians in California

The job prospects for nursing assistants, including patient care technicians, are expected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030 in California. PCTs typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare facilities in California. 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.

All Patient Care Technician Schools in California

Healthcare Career College

8527 Alondra Blvd, Suite 128
Paramount, CA 90723

Dignity College of Healthcare

337 N Vineyard Avenue
Ontario, CA 91764

Best American Healthcare University

6700 Indiana Avenue, Suite 255
Riverside, CA 92506

Simi Institute for Careers and Education

1880 Blackstock Avenue
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Loyola Marymount University

1 Loyola Marymount University Dr, University Hall, Suite 1840
Los Angeles, CA 90045