An Acute Clinical Technician, also known as a Patient Care Technician (PCT), has a specific skill set. Though a medical assistant or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) are similar jobs and often confused, there are significant differences to consider. Which one is right for you? Those working in the nursing field have numerous options to select from including the Acute/Clinical Technician. Let’s take a look at the differences.
What Is a CNA?
A person working as a CNA is a healthcare professional who works under registered nurses (RN) or a medical doctor (MD). These individuals help to ensure a patient receives the care they need, but they typically do not perform the specific medical services outright. CNAs do a wide range of care types on a daily basis including:
- Performing vitals checks
- Recording vital signs including temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration rate
- Bathing patients
- Feeding patients
- Helping with dressing, grooming, and exercising
- Turning and repositioning patients
- Reviewing food allergies and dietary concerns
This type of position is quite important in any medical facility. Often, they are critical to the care of a patient. However, they have many limitations in what they can do. They do not provide specific medical procedures and may not have as much demand in an acute care setting.
What Is an Acute/Clinical Technician?
A person working as an Acute Clinical Technician or Patient Care Technician provides a wide range of services for patients. Typically, they still work under an RN or an MD, but they are able to provide more of the services that a patient needs, increasing their value in many situations. They have specific training at a higher level than CNAs, and that can make them more in demand. Most often an Acute Clinical Technician will perform all of the same tasks that a CNA does, but they may do more including the following:
- Draw blood for labs
- Provide wound care
- Administer EKGs
- Deliver medication
- Help with dialysis
- Handle catheterization
- Collect samples for testing
Working as an Acute Clinical Technician may involve providing more services and ensuring a better level of care for patients. They are incredibly valuable in hospitals, emergency rooms, and other areas that have a large demand for medical supervision of patients.
What Are the Educational Requirements for an Acute/Clinical Technician?
A Clinical Technician has a lot of skills. To achieve those skills, they need ample education and training. Most often, they will need to hold a certification to perform these tasks. To do that, they typically need to have a high school diploma or GED. Then, they need to complete specific training. This is typically a course that requires hands-on learning. After the course is complete, the individual can then sit for their certification exam.
Which Is Better? CNA or Acute/Clinical Technician?
Both of these positions are very valuable in many medical facilities. It is critical to consider both based on what your career goals are. Many people will find an Acute Clinical Technician position to provide a higher level of hands-on service to patients. For those who may wish to obtain a nursing degree down the road, this position may be a good starting point.
The licensing requirements for CNA and Clinical Technician positions differ by state. There are fewer restrictions on those who wish to work as a CNA, but both positions require some level of training. CNAs provide basic patient care and support services. Acute Clinical Technicians need training to help them complete some medical procedures and use medical equipment.
When choosing a career path, be sure you always focus heavily on what is interesting to you. If you are interested in medical science and want to provide ample help and support to patients, working as a Clinical Technician gives you more of an opportunity to do that. On the other hand, working as a CNA may give you a steady job with good interaction with patients and meeting their needs without providing actual medical care.
What Should You Earn?
Working as an Acute Clinical Technician can prove valuable to many people. These individuals are typically quite passionate about helping other people and tend to enjoy the medical field. While they may not be able to do everything an RN does, they may be on their way to that position. Many who work as an Acute Clinical Technician will do so until they earn their nursing license. Yet, that doesn’t have to be the case. Because these individuals are so in demand, it is possible to maintain a full career in this position.
The key to remember is that all other positions – including medical assisting, CNAs, and similar – do not have certification requirements. As an Acute Clinical Technician, you will have certification requirements. That’s a good thing. That certification may yield a higher paying job and may make you more valuable in the long term to medical facilities, hospitals, and others who use these services.
How Do You Get Started?
Caris College is proud to offer one of the top Acute Clinical Technician Programs in both IN and KY. The Acute Clinical Technician certifications our students are able to earn throughout our training program provide them the skills they need to be competitive in the job market while continuing to allow for career development and upward mobility in the field of healthcare. Become an Acute Clinical Technician. Start your new career with national certifications in Phlebotomy, EKG and Patient Care in as few as ten months.