Nursing is a very noble and a highly respectable profession. It rewards you not just in the terms of money, but also in the form of a lot of love and care as well. Many aspiring nurses now want to become either a CNA or a PCA nurse. While, the two professions appear to be similar, the duties of both the nurses vary considerably.

PCA Job Description

A PCA nurse works under the supervision of nurses as well as doctors. Unlike the CNA nurses, a PCA nurse does not need to have a professional certificate for working in the health care area. However,   one of the most important requirements of the PCA health care is to have extremely good communication and interpersonal skills. This is important to have a good relationship with the patients as a PCA nurse has to dress, bathe and even feed the patients. However, they do need to take health care classes offered by different community schools and even some hospitals. These classes teach the aspiring PCA nurses how to take proper care of the patients.

CNA Job Description

While CNA nurses also work under the supervision of nurses and doctors, they are required to have a professional degree as well. A CNA nurse should have a high school or a GED diploma before taking up the CNA certification exam. During the certification program, students get to study different topics related to the health care industry. They also have to work practically in a hospital a clinic or any other health care center where there is a requirement of CNA nurses. While their basic duties are similar to those of the PCA nurses, yet they are responsible for setting up the medical equipment, checking the vital signs of the patients and performing different medical tests on them as well.

Patient Care Technician Vs Certified Nurse Assistant

The PCT vs CNA debate never seems to end because of the general confusion people feel when comparing the two professions. While the difference might be minute, yet a CNA and a PCA nurse are not the same.

Let’s have a look at how the patient care tech duties are different from the responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant.

  • The job of a PCA nurse is to provide care for the patients by tending to their basic human needs. On the other hand, a CNA nurse is a professional medical worker.
  • Mostly, a PCS nurse is expected to look after the personal needs of the patients. These may include feeding the patients, changing their clothes and helping them in moving around. A PCA nurse also has to push the wheelchair when the patient is being transported from one place to another. However, a CNA nurse has to check the vital signs of the patients check on their wounds and dress them when needed and administer proper medication on them as told by the doctor.
  • A PCA just needs to have a high school diploma to get employed; however a CNA has to pass a professional certification exam before getting employed. But, the requirement differs in different states. Some states also require the PCA nurses to be CNA qualified.

Requirements to Become a Patient Care Attendant

Different states have different requirements when it comes to hiring a patient care attendant. While, many require the PCA nurse to just have a high school diploma, different states also require other certifications as well.

These certifications are offered by different medical and nursing schools and colleges and make it easier for the PCA nurses to take proper care of the patients. Many hospitals also provide hands-on training to the PCA nurses after hiring them.

These PCA health care classes may include learning

  • How to administer first aid
  • How to perform CPR on a patient
  • How to read different vital signs of the patients including checking their pulse and blood pressure
  • How to care for different patients belonging to different age groups, especially the elderly
  • How to give proper medication to the patients
  • How to take proper care of the patients’ personal hygiene
  • How to cook special meals or the patients as directed by the doctor
  • How to deal with a patient’s death and perform the required procedure