Patient Care Technician and Nursing Assistant Job Options

Learn where you can work in your new career field!

Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) and nursing assistants (LNAs) are the healthcare professionals who give direct care to patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or the elderly. They also help patients with daily activities such as eating, changing, and bathing. The Occupational Outlook Handbook expects nursing assistant-type jobs to grow by 17% from 2014-2024 which is much faster than the average for all other jobs.

If you’re considering becoming a PCT or nursing assistant, you’ll want to learn about the type of environments in which you can expect to work. Knowing what type of environment you’d like to work in and the career goals it offers is essential before choosing your career path.

Work environments for PCTs and nursing assistants

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, these are the largest employers of PCTs or nursing assistants:

  • Nursing care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities
  • Home healthcare
  • Government

Nursing care facilities are the largest employer of nursing assistants, employing roughly 41% of nursing assistants in the U.S. Nursing care facilities include long-term nursing homes, restorative care centers, or rehabilitation centers. In these healthcare facilities, PCTs and nursing assistants may assist patients with basic living care in their rooms, dining areas, bathrooms, and patient exams. According to some nursing assistants, one of the benefits of working in a long-term nursing care facility is that you have the opportunity to build strong bonds with your patients over time.

Hospitals employ roughly 25% of the nursing assistants in the U.S. In hospitals, PCTs and nursing assistants perform their duties by the bedsides of patients in hospital rooms. They may also help transport patients from their rooms to an exam or operation. Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities are another important workplace, employing about 11% of the nursing assistant workforce.

In these work environments, many of the positions are full-time. Since nursing homes and hospitals operate 24 hours a day, you may have to work nights, weekend shifts, or on holidays. You can expect to be on your feet throughout the day, so comfortable shoes are necessary. Sometimes, the role of a patient care technician can be physically demanding, such as when you have to lift patients or move them from a bed to wheelchair.

Salaries for PCT Jobs

When you search for a job as a PCT or LNA, look to see what the typical salary is for an entry-level position in your region. Remember that salary may vary by location, experience, and the type of facility in which you work.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook also gives a median annual wage for nursing assistants. The median annual wage is where half of the workers earned more than the amount and the other half earned less.

If you think that a patient care technician or nursing assistant career is the right path for you, consider applying to Salter Nursing’s training program today! Our program is designed to give you the skills you need to become a successful PCT or LNA in any working environment!