From home healthcare services to nursing homes to hospitals, many segments of the medical field require a regular need for compassionate and caring individuals who love to help improve the lives of others.
Therefore, if you are searching for a new career path within the healthcare industry and fancy the thought of collaborating with patients directly, then striving to become a patient care technician in California may be the right choice.
Best of all, you don’t need to spend decades in school to kickstart your career.
Before jumping in feet first, it is important to understand California state requirements.
Keep reading to learn more!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Licensing Requirements to Become a Patient Care Technician
- 2 5 Patient Care Technician Schools in California
- 3 Salary
- 4 Sources
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Licensing Requirements to Become a Patient Care Technician
California requires a certification to become a patient care technician since the candidate will be critical to the medical staff and patients.
Therefore, you must follow this process to become licensed in California as a patient care technician:
Provide Personal Information
To even be considered for a training program or to take the National Health Association (NHA) Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam, you must be over 18 years of age, hold a high school diploma, and show proof of citizenship.
The State of California also requires that candidates submit a set of fingerprints.
Complete a Training Program
California is a large state with countless patient care technician training programs ranging from community colleges to trade schools, medical schools, and other institutions.
The process of applying is like applying for college and most schools offer financial aid or scholarships.
The difference is, that completing this program type can be accomplished in six months to one year.
Pay the Examination Fee
Once you have completed an accredited training program, you must pay for the examination, which costs $149.
Many training programs pay the fee as part of your tuition cost, so it is important to check at the beginning.
Pass the NHA CPCT Exam
The CPCT exam consists of 100 questions and 20 pre-test questions.
On average, the entire testing process takes a little under two hours.
Your training program will help you prepare to pass the examination with flying colors.
For those who did not complete a training program, NHA also accepts one year or more of experience in the field.
Once you pass the test, you can professionally use the CPCT next to your name.
Find a Job
The last step is to find a job.
Many training schools offer career placement and assistance, with some even requiring internships, which is a fantastic way to learn your craft, gain experience, and potentially have a position waiting for you post-graduation.
5 Patient Care Technician Schools in California
With such a large population, California has countless patient care technician schools for you to complete a training program.
California Medical College
California Medical College is an institution that focuses only on medical fields.
Their patient care technician program consists of nine courses whereby students learn clinical responsibilities, with the end goal of passing the certification exam.
One externship with a healthcare professional or location is required to complete the program.
Healthcare Career College
With an 11-month patient care technician diploma, Healthcare Career College teaches students how to draw blood, take vital signs, operate EKG equipment, prepare the examination room for a doctor, manage electronic health records, perform insurance billing, and patient medical recordkeeping, and basic office skills.
Located in Daly City, California, Oxman College offers a patient care technician program that takes only 24-weeks and costs $8,500 for the entire program, including books and supplies.
Students learn enough information to prepare them for the NHA exam and tuition includes the examination fee.
Pima Medical Institute
The patient care technician program at Pima Medical Institute teaches students how to draw blood, insert catheters, perform tube removal, remove staples and sutures, perform EKGs, and conduct emergency room skills.
For those living in California, you can take the program online.
The curriculum for the patient care technician training program at the Pima Medical Institute includes an introduction to infection control, standard precautions, legal issues in healthcare, and patient care, medical terminology, therapeutic exercises, and wound care, among others.
The program length is only around a six-month commitment.
Patient Care Technician Schools in California – Summary Table
|California Medical College||7851 Mission Center Ct UNIT 326, San Diego, CA 92108|
|Healthcare Career College||8527 Alondra Blvd Suite #128, Paramount, CA 90723|
|Oxman College||309 4th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118|
|Pima Medical Institute||780 Bay Blvd, Chula Vista, CA 91910|
|Simi School||5400 Cochran St., Simi Valley, CA 93063|
The median patient care technician’s national salary ranges from $30,000 to $38,600.
However, in Los Angeles, California, the median salary ranges from $33,600 to $43,100.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary job duties of a patient care technician in California?
In addition to helping patients, patient care technicians also assist their families and staff within the medical location.
Primary duties include bathing and feeding patients, catheter care, escorting patients to other locations within the building or campus for additional evaluation, maintaining patient rooms, performing phlebotomy processes, talking to families, and vital sign monitoring.
Where can a patient care technician work in California?
Once certified, patient care technicians can work in assisted living facilities, home care, hospices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and specialized clinics.
One major benefit of this career is that a patient care technician can move to various locations if they are not satisfied with the work.
Is being a patient care technician in California difficult?
While helping patients feel better is incredibly rewarding, the position can often be emotionally demanding.
Since you are working in a medical facility, you will often be interacting with patients who are incredibly ill or dying, which can take a toll on those attempting to save them.