Kickstart Your Career with Patient Care Technician Training in Missouri

Embarking on patient care technician training in Missouri? Discover the various training paths, program lengths, and what makes for a successful PCT career—straightforward, no fluff. Begin your journey in Missouri’s dynamic healthcare field well-informed and ready.

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Exploring Patient Care Technician Training in Missouri

PCT programs in Missouri provide students with a holistic curriculum, preparing them for direct patient care. The training covers various areas, including:

  • Patient safety
  • Body systems
  • Phlebotomy procedures
  • Medical terminology

These programs are available in various formats, designed to suit different learning preferences and lifestyles.

Whether you prefer the flexibility of online learning, the blend of online and face-to-face learning, or the traditional in-person learning experience, there’s a PCT program tailored to your needs. These options are worth a deeper consideration.

Online Programs

An online PCT Training Program is offered by SSM Health in association with local Missouri colleges. This program, such as the STL Patient Care Tech Training Program, prepares students for PCT positions at SSM Health with six weeks of virtual classwork through St. Charles Community College, followed by onsite clinics.

Hybrid Programs

Blending classroom instruction with independent online activities, Hybrid PCT programs are uniquely structured. These programs typically last 6-7 weeks and include both face-to-face lectures and skill labs. A significant commitment is required, with full-time availability needed for classroom sessions, online activities, skill labs, and clinical shifts at a partner location.

Candidates must have the following to engage in the online components of the hybrid PCT program:

  • Access to a computer with an updated operating system
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Stable high-speed internet connection

Admission to these programs is competitive and requires a direct application to the clinical partner for potential employment and training opportunities.

In-Person Programs

Offering a comprehensive learning experience, in-person PCT programs like the one at St. Louis Community College are available. These programs typically last 10-11 weeks and include 6-7 weeks of classroom instruction, followed by 3-4 weeks of clinical practice.

Benefits of a Patient Care Technician Career

Working as a PCT comes with a multitude of benefits. PCTs find diverse job opportunities in:

  • Retirement communities
  • Hospitals
  • Medical practices
  • Hospices

There are positions available in reputable healthcare organizations, providing opportunities for professional development and growth.

PCTs often express job satisfaction due to the direct impact they have on patient health and well-being. They find fulfilment in providing compassionate care, helping patients achieve better health outcomes, and making a positive impact on patients’ lives. 

Key Skills for Patient Care Technicians

A certain skill set is required to excel in the role of a PCT. These skills include:

  • Vital signs measurement
  • Basic nursing skills
  • Phlebotomy
  • Patient transport

Communication plays a crucial role in the PCT profession, especially when they provide direct patient care. Active listening, clear articulation, and conveying empathy are necessary for effective communication with both healthcare professionals and patients. Moreover, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, physical stamina, and patience are essential for tasks like moving patients and providing emotional support.

Requirements for PCT Certification in Missouri

To become a certified PCT in Missouri, certain requirements must be met. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or a GED to become eligible for certification.
  2. Enroll in a PCT program that meets the standards of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel.
  3. Complete the required coursework and clinical training in the PCT program.
  4. Pass the certification exam administered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
  5. Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will be eligible for certification as a PCT in Missouri.

Education Requirements

Beyond the basic requirement of a high school diploma or equivalent, candidates applying for a PCT program in Missouri must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass a drug screen panel
  • Pass a physical exam with proof of immunizations.

Before beginning clinical practice, PCT students are also required to:

  • Register with the Missouri Family Care Safety Registry
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass a drug screen panel
  • Undergo a physical exam with documented proof of immunizations.

Clinical Experience

In Missouri, PCT training greatly emphasizes clinical experience. Students are required to complete three 12-hour shifts per week, providing comprehensive exposure to the healthcare setting.

Certification Exam

After completing the educational and clinical training, PCT trainees in Missouri must pass a certification exam, such as the CPCT/A exam offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

The CPCT/A exam consists of 100 scored multiple-choice questions and 20 additional pretest questions that must be completed within 1 hour and 50 minutes. To maintain the CPCT/A certification, which is valid for two years, certified PCTs must undergo continuing education and pay a recertification fee.

Financing Your PCT Training

Though financing your PCT training can seem overwhelming, multiple options can ease the process. In Missouri, PCT students can apply for general health professions scholarships, private grants, and scholarships from local businesses, community groups, religious, and civic organizations.

Members of HOSA pursuing healthcare careers, including PCTs, can access the following financial aid options:

  • HOSA scholarships are supported by the organization and its partners
  • Missouri Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant
  • State-administered grants and scholarships
  • Loan repayment programs offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Some PCT programs in Missouri even provide tuition funding and offer starting wages for students selected for their programs, although this might involve a work commitment after completion.

Job Opportunities for Certified PCTs in Missouri

Upon completion of your PCT training and certification, a wide array of job opportunities will be available to you. The job market for PCTs is promising, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating an 11 per cent increase in jobs for medical assistants, which includes PCTs, between 2016 and 2026.

Certified PCTs have specific job opportunities at SSM Health, requiring a 24-month work commitment after completing the STL Patient Care Tech Training Program. Hence, PCT trainees need to evaluate the healthcare field’s demand for patient care technicians, ensuring sufficient job prospects post-training.

Summary

In conclusion, becoming a Patient Care Technician in Missouri presents a rewarding career path filled with opportunities for growth, diverse work environments, and the chance to make a significant impact on patients’ lives. With various training options available, you can find a program that aligns with your learning preferences and career goals. As you embark on this journey, remember that success lies not only in acquiring the right technical skills but also in cultivating patience, compassion, and resilience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a PCT in Missouri?

To become a PCT in Missouri, you must meet certain education and legal requirements such as having a high school diploma or GED equivalent and completing a state-approved PCT training program, including both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. This will allow you to pursue a career as a PCT in Missouri.

What certification do I need for PCT?

You need to complete a Patient Care Technician (PCT) training program and pass the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) certification exam to become certified for PCT. Some employers may require or encourage this certification.

How much does a patient care tech make in Missouri?

A patient care tech in Missouri earns a salary similar to other states.

What is the PCT training program at STL?

The PCT training program at STL is an accelerated non-credit program that combines classroom instruction with clinical practice, preparing students for careers in patient care. It satisfies the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services requirements for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP).

What are the benefits of becoming a PCT?

Becoming a PCT offers diverse job opportunities, professional growth, job satisfaction, and the chance to make a significant impact on patients’ lives.