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Patient Care Technician


Patient Care Technician Training

Prepare for a career as a patient care technician in as little as 9 months.

If you want to brighten patients’ lives and make a positive impact, training to become a patient care technician could be right for you. Patient care techs expand the traditional role of a nursing assistant and provide direct patient care and help with daily living activities. These simple tasks can go a long way in improving patients’ quality of life or restoring their independence.

Brightwood College's Patient Care Technician program is designed to help prepare you for employment as a cross-trained nursing assistant, known as a patient care technician (PCT) or patient care assistant (PCA).

Career-Focused Patient Care Technician Program

Our PCT program concentrates on helping students acquire knowledge and develop skills in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, body mechanics, providing care in specialized settings, phlebotomy, electrocardiography (EKG), and basic lab assistant functions.

We combine classroom learning with labs and clinical experience to give you dynamic, hands-on patient care technician training. Our PCT classes emphasize practical application in lab simulations and the classroom to help you achieve the basic competencies to prepare you for patient care assistant jobs.

You will have the opportunity to practice capillary draws and venipuncture as well as therapeutic exercises. To help prepare you to seek entry-level employment in various patient care roles, Brightwood College's PCT classes cover the following topics:

  • Assist nurses and other healthcare providers in a variety of healthcare settings
  • Effective communication to interpret and understand residents’ needs
  • Law and ethics related to healthcare
  • Basic phlebotomy procedures
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Safety in the medical environment
  • EKGs and cardiac monitoring
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation aide skills
  • Patient care in specialized settings
  • Administration for healthcare units

Get Real-World PCT Training in a Clinical Setting

Mastering clinical skills is an important part of working towards a nursing assistant career. As a part of our patient care technician training, you will complete a clinical and/or an externship in a healthcare setting. Through competency-based clinical assignments, you can practice assisted living skills, rehabilitative/restorative care, and other patient care technician duties.

Our externship is designed to enhance what you learn in the classroom with on-the-job experience. An externship is training program in a real workplace, where you will perform actual PCT job tasks under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Externship settings can include private or group practices, labs, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.

Optional Professional Certification

Professional certification tells potential employers you meet industry standards. National certification exams are taken at the end of your program. Below is the list of certifications by campus the program assists eligible students to prepare for:

Brightwood College Laredo

This program is intended, among other things, to help eligible students prepare for the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT. /A), or Phlebotomy Technician Certification (CPT), or Certified EKG Technician (CET) Examinations offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Brightwood College Houston

Our PCT program is designed to prepare eligible students for the Certified Nurse Aide exam. Learn more at

Brightwood College San Diego

Our PCT program is designed to prepare eligible students for the Certified Nurse Assistant and Certified Phlebotomy Technician Level 1 certification exams. Certification is required to work as a nurse assistant or phlebotomy assistant in California. Learn more at

What Is a Patient Care Technician?

Patient care techs are skilled healthcare workers who work closely with patients. They assist doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. PCTs spend a lot of time with patients, so they see improvements and setbacks firsthand. This insight makes them a valuable asset to the healthcare team and allows licensed caregivers to respond more quickly.

Patient care technicians can assist with the care of outpatients and inpatients who have a variety of diseases, injuries, or neurological or orthopedic problems. In addition, they may help patients walk to and from therapy with a gait belt, set up equipment for patient treatments, assist with community outings, and perform a variety of other duties.

What are patient care technician duties?

Patient care technicians provide hands-on bedside care and personal hygiene assistance. PCTs perform duties in assisting nurses and other healthcare professionals in a variety of healthcare settings, but are also trained to perform some basic medical responsibilities such as blood draws and EKG readings. Here are a few common PCT duties:

  • Provide administrative support
  • Assist with mobility
  • Obtain EKG readings and measure vital signs
  • Change wound dressings
  • Obtain blood or urine samples (phlebotomy)
  • Help patients with activities of daily living
  • Support nursing staff
  • Control infection by following safety measures
  • Extend care and compassion
  • Observe and report any changes in patient condition

How much do patient care techs make?

According to national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the median pay for nursing assistants is $27,510 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,240 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38,630. A patient care tech’s salary will vary based on experience, location of employment, and the specific job title and duties being performed.1

Assistance Finding Patient Care Technician Jobs

Earning a patient care tech diploma is an important career step. That’s why Brightwood College strives to guide and support you during the job search process. Our Career Development department can review your resume, share interview strategies, and help you begin your job search.

As a graduate from Brightwood College's Patient Care Technician diploma program, you may pursue various entry-level positions such as the following:

  • Nurse assistant/aide (Houston and San Diego Only)
  • Patient care technician
  • Orderly
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation aide
  • Phlebotomy technician
  • EKG technician
  • Cardiac monitor technician

Get Started Today

Take the first step towards a new career in patient care. Fill out our information form or give us a call to learn more about patient care program.

The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies, on the Internet at (visited July 22, 2018). Expected growth rate through the year 2026. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary. Median pay is the wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

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