Embark on a Rewarding Career with Patient Care Technician Training in Idaho

If you are interested in patient care technician training in Idaho, our guide will walk you through finding accredited programs to obtain your certification and kickstart your career. Recognize what training entails, understand certification requirements, and get a glimpse of potential job prospects, all essential for your success as a future PCT in Idaho.

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Exploring Patient Care Technician Training Programs in Idaho

Aspiring PCTs will find a plethora of training opportunities in Idaho, with the College of Western Idaho and the North Idaho College Workforce Training Center being two prominent options. Each offers a unique curriculum designed to equip students with the critical skills needed in the patient care field.

College of Western Idaho

A comprehensive Patient Care Technician program that blends practical clinical skills with professional development is offered by the College of Western Idaho. The curriculum is robust, teaching students how to perform basic care procedures, such as drawing blood and performing EKGs. In addition to these hands-on skills, the program incorporates professional development, preparing students for real-world healthcare environments.

North Idaho College Workforce Training Center

A PCT program covering a wide range of skills is offered by the North Idaho College Workforce Training Center. The program includes the following certifications:

  • Advanced patient care techniques
  • Phlebotomy
  • Mental health first aid
  • EKG
  • Wound care

This program prepares students for the diverse challenges they’ll encounter in the healthcare field. The program cost of $1,295 includes the Certified Patient Care Technician examination fee, making it a valuable investment in your future career.

Becoming a Certified Patient Care Technician in Idaho

Upon successful completion of your training program, certification is the subsequent milestone on the path to becoming a PCT in Idaho. This critical step validates your knowledge and skills and is a requirement for most PCT positions in the state.

With a typical duration of three weeks, the certification program offers a fast-tracked path toward your new career.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for PCT certification in Idaho involves several prerequisites. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be a Certified Nursing Assistant or a National Registered Emergency Medical Technician
  • Complete a dedicated patient care technician training program or possess equivalent work experience, typically comprising 600 hours of training.

After finishing the program, candidates are required to take the Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam, which is administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). This exam is a crucial step in becoming a certified Patient Care Technician.

Certification Exam Registration

Candidates are required to create an account on the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) website to register for the PCT certification exam. After creating an account, candidates complete and submit an application form to schedule their certification exam.

The exam fee is approximately $160, a small investment for the doors it will open in your new career.

Essential Skills for Patient Care Technicians

The competence of a Patient Care Technician extends beyond academic knowledge and certifications. It requires a unique set of skills that combine medical proficiency with interpersonal capabilities. Let’s delve into these key skills that can set you apart and enhance your effectiveness as a PCT.

Basic Nursing Care Services

PCTs, as the backbone of the fast-paced healthcare world, provide essential nursing care services. These range from:

  • monitoring vital signs
  • implementing infection control measures
  • assisting with daily living activities
  • patient assessment
  • vital sign measurement
  • care planning
  • providing emotional support

These are integral parts of a PCT’s role.

In addition, PCTs ensure patient safety and prevent the spread of infections, making them invaluable members of the healthcare team.

Medical Terminology

Mastering medical terminology is vital for a PCT to:

  • Communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals
  • Ensure patient safety
  • Enable clear and efficient communication in high-stakes healthcare environments
  • Accurately relay medical histories, conditions, and treatments

A comprehensive understanding of medical terminology is crucial for these tasks.

Moreover, it aids in managing the high volume of patient care, making healthcare operations more efficient.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills constitute the less recognized but equally important aspect of a PCT’s toolkit. These skills allow PCTs to build rapport and establish trust with patients, which is essential for delivering effective care. Moreover, strong interpersonal skills enable PCTs to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, fostering a team approach to patient care.

Empathetic communication skills allow PCTs to understand and respond to patients’ emotional and psychological needs, enhancing the overall care experience.

Gaining Hands-On Experience: Clinical Hours and Externships

While theory and classroom learning hold importance, it is through hands-on experience that PCT students truly refine their skills. Clinical hours and externships provide real-world exposure, enabling students to apply their classroom knowledge in actual healthcare environments.

Clinical Hours

For PCT students, clinical hours offer an invaluable opportunity for hands-on experience. These mandatory training hours offer a mirror into the daily realities of the job and prepare students for the challenges they’ll encounter in diverse patient-care environments. During these hours, students apply their learned skills to real patients, benefiting from the supervision and support of licensed nurses.

The hands-on experience gained during clinical hours accelerates students’ proficiency in patient care.


Externships act as a transition phase from being a PCT student to a healthcare professional. During an externship, students gain insights into the job and evaluate its fit with their interests. They engage in daily tasks with patients, which builds their confidence and understanding of the role.

Externships also allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations, reinforcing their skills and preparing them for their future roles.

Financial Aid Options for PCT Training in Idaho

Investment in education constitutes a significant move towards a future career as a PCT. However, we understand that financial constraints can pose challenges. Thankfully, Idaho provides a variety of financial aid options for PCT training, including scholarships, grants, and loans.


Several scholarships cater to the needs of PCT students in Idaho. The Primary Care Initiative and HAPPEN Idaho scholarship are just two examples that support students pursuing healthcare careers. In addition, North Idaho College’s training program offers scholarships for financial aid to students, including those in PCT programs.


Grants constitute another avenue of financial aid for PCT students in Idaho. Some grants available include:

  • The Idaho Primary Care Association offers a Workforce Development Scholarship for students enrolling in health-related programs.
  •  The Idaho Community Foundation provides grants for various causes, including support for health and medical education.
  • The High Demand Career Scholarship Program by Idaho Career & Technical Education also provides grants for health and medical education.

These grants can be a great way to support your education and career goals.


Loans act as a potential source of financial support during your PCT training. Federal student loans offer:

  • Fixed interest rates
  • Flexible repayment plans
  • Deferment options
  • Loan forgiveness programs

Moreover, they do not require a credit check for many of their loans, providing access to financial support for students with no or less-than-perfect credit histories.

Job Opportunities and Growth for Patient Care Technicians in Idaho

Upon completion of your training and obtaining your certification, the exploration of job opportunities marks the next exciting phase. With an 18% expected job growth over the next decade, PCTs in Idaho can anticipate a bright future filled with rewarding career opportunities.

Average Salaries

When choosing a career, the potential for earnings is a significant consideration. In Idaho, PCTs earn an average salary of $31,000 per year. In Boise, the state’s capital and largest city, the average salary for a PCT is approximately $33,879, with a range typically between $29,532 and $37,200.

Work Settings

PCTs enjoy the flexibility to operate in a variety of healthcare settings, including healthcare facilities. Employment settings can include:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Long-term acute care facilities
  • Rehabilitation centres and their rehabilitation centre environments
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Home healthcare services
  • Dialysis facilities

This diversity allows you to choose a setting that aligns with your interests and career goals.

Job Growth

PCTs in Idaho can look forward to a bright future, with a projected job growth of 18% over the next decade indicating an increase in opportunities.

This growth rate is a testament to the increasing importance of PCTs in delivering quality healthcare services.


Choosing a career as a Patient Care Technician in Idaho opens the door to a world of opportunities. From comprehensive training programs and hands-on experience to financial aid options and promising job prospects, the path to becoming a PCT in Idaho is both accessible and rewarding. By mastering essential skills and achieving certification, you can make a significant impact in the healthcare field and improve the lives of countless patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What training is needed for PCT?

To become a PCT, you need to complete training from a reputable institute covering medical aspects like phlebotomy, EKG, anatomy, physiology, patient care skills, and medical terminology. This will equip you with the necessary skills for the profession.

How long does it take to study for PCT?

It can take as little as 7 weeks to get certified as a patient care technician, with programs typically requiring around 600 hours of training including classroom and internship experience. Aim for a timeframe of around 2-3 months to complete the program and start your career.

What is the difference between PCT and CNA?

The key difference between patient care technicians (PCTs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) lies in their scope of responsibilities. PCTs are trained to perform more advanced tasks, including the use of EKG machines and blood collection, in addition to basic patient care duties.

Are PCTs in demand?

Yes, there is a growing demand for PCTs in the healthcare industry, with a projected 8% employment growth from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

What is the average salary for a Patient Care Technician in Idaho?

The average salary for a Patient Care Technician in Idaho is $31,000 per year. This information can help you evaluate potential earnings in the field.