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Difference Between CNA Nurse and PCA Nurse

There is a lot of general confusion between how a CNA and PCA nurse are different from each other. So, if you are someone who aspires to enter the healthcare field, then you should definitely read further to end the PCT vs CNA debate forever.

A PCA nurse is a Patient Care Assistant or Aide whose job is to look after the personal needs of the patients. They are mostly hired by hospitals, nursing homes and even in private homes to look after those patients who have got personal care requirements.

A Patient Care Assistant or a PCT nurse is someone who has got a proper training in the medical field and is hired by hospitals and medical facilities instead of at private homes. Unlike PCAs, a PCT nurse goes through proper training and usually requires a CNA certification as well.

Patient Care Technician vs Certified Nursing Assistant

pca nurse

CNA Duties

A CNA or a certified nurse assistant’s job is to look after the medical as well as personal needs of the patients. They have to assist the nurses as well as the doctors in performing various tasks which may include. The setting up of the medical equipment. Checking the patient’s vital signs. Moving of the medical equipment from one place to another. Keep track of the overall health condition of a patient.  CNA duties also include taking care of a patient’s personal needs. Feeding and bathing the patients. Also their personal grooming and helping them in performing their everyday tasks. These are all the duties of a CNA. CNAs also have to assist the patients in walking.

CNAs can work in different places, including hospitals, nursing homes, and private clinics and even in private homes.

CNA Training

To be eligible to train as a CNA nurse, it is necessary to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. After that, the aspiring CNA nurse has to go through a certification program. This program is offered by various community colleges, vocational institutes, and technical colleges and even by the Red Cross. CNA training is also offered by some healthcare institutes as well as employers and involves a theoretical aspect as well as practical training. The required CNA training is of 75 hours or 4 to 6 weeks.

CNA Salary

According to a study conducted by Indeed.com, the yearly average CNA salary is $24,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that CNA nurses can earn up to $26,250 per year with an hourly average rate of $12.62. According to the PayScale.com, a CNA nurse can earn between $19,189 and $32,530 depending upon the state and experience.



pca nurse

PCT Duties

Most of the times, a PCT nurse has to perform similar duties as those of a CNA nurse. However, this situation varies from state to state. PCT nurses also have to perform some really basic medical duties as well which may include taking blood samples or withdrawing blood from the patients. They may also have to monitor a patient’s heart activity through EKG and perform other basic laboratory based work. In many states, PCT nurses are expected only to perform laboratory related and medical tasks unlike a PCA nurse who is basically a caregiver.

PCT Training & PCA Nurse

The PCT training programs differ from state to state. There are certain states in which a PCT nurse also has to perform the duties of a PCA nurse. These states require their PCT nurses to be CNA certified as well for getting further training as a PCT nurse. However, in other states where a PCT nurse does not have to work as a PCA nurse as well, just basic laboratory and clinical training is given to the nurses. There are even certain programs which offer a combined CNA and PCT training with more emphasis on the subjects encompassing the field of the PCT nurses.

PCT Salary

When it comes to settling the PCT vs CNA issue. There is also a slight difference between the salaries of the two professionals. According to PayScale.com, a PCT nurse also earns an average of $12.75 per hour in most of the states. However, different states offer different salaries. So, generally a PCT nurse can earn between $20,988 to $36,908 per year depending upon the state and the experience of the PCT nurses.

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