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PCT101 Patient Care Technician 1

Patient Care Technician 1 (PCT101)

Course Description:  

This course is designed to prepare students for the Nursing Assistant – Direct Care Worker role in health care settings. The learner is introduced to basic nursing care, basic home health care, resident rights, safety and emergency nursing procedures.  Principles of therapeutic relationships and client care are presented as well as the legal/ethical issues related to nursing assistant practice.  Emphasis is on the personal qualities, knowledge, and skills needed by the nurse assistant to give quality basic nursing care under supervision of registered nurses and independent assistant to the patient in a home setting. This course provides instruction in basic nursing skills through lecture, campus laboratory and supervised clinical experiences in a long term care facility and preceptor experience in the patient home setting. Major topics include legality and promotion of patient rights, communications, infection control, measurement of basic body functions, effect of aging and disease on body systems, measures to promote independence and rehabilitation, specimen collection, nutrition, and elimination assistance. Because this is a skills-based course, classroom and laboratory attendance is mandatory.  Upon successful completion of the program the student is eligible to take the Direct Care Worker written and skill evaluation exam.  This exam will be taken in the last week of the course.


Additional Course Requirements:

1.  CPR Certified BLS (Basic Life Support – Adult, Infant, and Children).  This certification 6 hours class will be provided by a BLS Certified Instructor within the first 4 weeks and is included in course fee.

2. Completion of Certified Background Check and Drug Screen is required in the 5th week of the course for approximately a $100.00 student cost.  This order will be completed by the student in the computer lab on the first day of class. This must be completed and reported prior to entry into clinical agencies.  A positive test may result in inability to complete course or sit for state or national exam.

3. Documentation on file in Health Science Secretary Office of Physical that identifies physical and mental ability to perform PCT skills.

4. Documentation on file in Health Science Program Secretary Office of Negative PPD two step skin test or x-ray findings negative for active TB.

5.  Documentation of Influenza and DTaP vaccine by November 1st.

6.  Declination of immunization or refusal for screening will be cause for administrative withdraw from course.


Text and supply Information Available in Bookstore

Fees:  Student course fees related to PCT Study Guide, Direct Careworker Certification, and BLS Certification.



Required Course Supplies:              

Offered in the Bookstore and available by voucher

  • Uniform (red scrub outfit)
  • Stethoscope
  • BP Cuff
  • Wrist watch with second hand
  • Resource Kit



Provided within the course workshop:  

  • Basic Life Support Certification (BLS)



Student Responsibility Not Available in Bookstore or Provided in Course:

  • White Leather Shoes




  • Anatomy and Physiology I

This course must be taken prior to PCT1 or concurrent with the course.  A withdraw or course grade below C will not permit progression to PCT2.



Credit Hours: 5 (3 Lecture and 2 Lab)

Contact Hours/Week: 3 Lecture and 6 Lab = 9 contact hours per week for 15 weeks.  Contact hours may be campus lab simulation, supervised patient care, or preceptor patient care in a health care facility or patient home.



Student Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the course, the learner will be able to:

1.     Demonstrates basic technical skills that facilitate an optimal level of functioning for the client, recognizing individual, cultural, and religious diversity

2.     Provide personal care to clients in a health care facility or in a client home.

3.     Identify psychosocial characteristics of all clients including persons with mental retardation, mental illness, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders.

4.     Incorporates principles and skills of restorative nursing in providing care.

5.     Demonstrate behaviors that maintain and respect client rights and promote clients’ independence, regardless of race, religion, life-style, sexual preference, disease process, or ability to pay.

6.     Use effective communication skills in order to function as a member of the nursing team.

7.     Use procedures and techniques to prevent the spread of microorganisms.

8.     Demonstrates the ability to identify and use safety and emergency procedures.

9.     Deliver sensitive care to the dying patient and the family.

10.  Demonstrate knowledge of and is responsive to the laws and regulations that affect his/her practice including but not limited client abuse and neglect, client complaint procedures, workers right to know, and the Uniform Disciplinary Act.

11.  Verify eligibility to take the Direct Care Worker Evaluation Exam.

12.  Complete the Direct Care Worker Evaluation Exam in the last week of the course.


Student Learning Performance Objectives:

The following list of student learning performance objectives will be addressed in the course.

During clinical rotations, and at the completion of the course, students demonstrate the following:


1.     Basic technical skills.  The nurse assistant demonstrates basic technical skills which facilitates an optimal level of functioning for the client, recognizing the cultural, and religious diversity:

  • Demonstrate Proficiency in CPR and Heimlich Maneuver
  • Takes and Records Vital Signs
  • Takes and Records Height and Weight
  • Measures and Records Fluid and Food Intake and Output of Clients
  • Recognizes and Reports Abnormal Signs and Symptoms of Common Disease and Conditions
  • Demonstrates Sensitivity to Client’s Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Needs
  • Makes Observations of Client’s Environment to Ensure Safety and Comfort of Client
  • Participates in Care Planning and Nursing Reporting Process;


2. Personal care skills.  The nurse assistant demonstrates basic personal care skills:

  • Assists Client With Bathing, Mouth Care, and Skin Care;
  • Provides Toileting Assistance to Client
  • Assists Client With Eating and Hydration
  • Utilizes Proper Feeding Techniques
  • Provides for Client Privacy


3.     Mental health and social service needs.  The nurse assistant demonstrates the ability to identify the psychosocial characteristics of all clients including persons with mental retardation, mental illness, dementia, Alzheimer’s and relaxation disorders:

  • Modifies His/Her Own Behavior in Response to the Client’s Behavior
  • Identifies Adaptations Necessary to Accommodate the Aging Process
  • Provides Training in, and the Opportunity for, Self-care According to the Client’s Capabilities
  • Demonstrates Skills Supporting Client’s Personal Choices
  • Identifies Ways to Use the Clients Family As a Resource for Emotional Support


4.     Basic restorative services.  The nurse assistant incorporates principles and skills of restorative nursing in providing nursing care:

  • Demonstrates Knowledge and Skill in Using Assistive Devices in Ambulation
  • Demonstrates Knowledge and Skill in the Maintenance of Range of Motion
  • Demonstrates Proper Techniques in Turning/Positioning Client in Bed and Chair
  • Demonstrates Proper Transferring of Client
  • Demonstrates Knowledge About Methods for Meeting the Elimination Needs of Clients
  • Demonstrates Knowledge and Skill for He Care and Use of Prosthetic And/Or Orthotic Devices


5.     Client rights and promotion of client independence.  The nurse assistant demonstrates behavior which maintains and respects client rights and promotes client independence, regardless of race, religion, life-style, sexual preference, disease process or ability to pay:

  • Recognizes That the Client Has the Right to Participate in Decisions About His/Her Care
  • Recognizes and Respects the Client’s Need for Privacy and Maintenance of Confidentiality
  • Promotes and Respects the Client’s Right to Make Personal Choices to Accommodate Their Needs
  • Taught How to Deal With Their Own on the Job Frustrations and Are Instructed in Basic Anger Management Skills to Effectively Report Client Concerns
  • Provides Assistance in Getting to and Participating in Activities Provides for the Care and Security of Client’s Personal Possessions
  • Provides Care Which Maintains the Client Free From Abuse, Mistreatment or Neglect, and Reports Any Instance to Appropriate Facility Staff
  • Maintains the Client’s Environment and Care Through Appropriate Nurse Assistant Behavior so as to Minimize the Need for Physical and Chemical Restraints.


6.     Communication and interpersonal skills.  The nurse assistant uses communication skills effectively in order to function as a member of the nursing team:

  • Reads, Writes, Speaks and Understands English at the Level Necessary for Performing Duties of the Nursing Assistant
  • Listens and Responds to Verbal and Nonverbal Communication in an Appropriate Manner
  • Recognizes How One’s Own Behavior Influences Client’s Behavior
  • Makes Adjustments for Client’s Physical or Mental Limitations
  • Uses Terminology Accepted in the Nursing Facility to Record and Report Observations and Pertinent Information
  • Records and Reports Observations, Action, and Information Accurately and Timely
  • Demonstrates Ability to Explain Policies and Procedures Before and During Client Care.


7.     Infection Control: The nurse assistant uses procedures and techniques to prevent the spread of microorganisms.

  • Uses Principles of Medical Asepsis and Demonstrates Infection Control Techniques and Universal Precautions
  • Explains How Disease Causing Microorganisms Are Spread: Lists Ways the HIV and Hepatitis B Virus Can Spread From One Person to Another
  • Demonstrates Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Methods, Which Destroy Microorganisms on Surfaces.


8.     Safety/emergency procedures: The nurse assistant demonstrates the ability to identify safe/emergency procedures.

  • Provides Adequate Ventilation, Warmth, Light and Quiet Measures
  • Uses Measures That Promote Comfort, Rest, and Sleep
  • Promotes Clean, Orderly, and Safe Environment and Equipment for the Client
  • Identifies and Utilizes Measures for Accident Prevention
  • Identifies and Demonstrates Principles of Body Mechanics
  • Demonstrates Proper Use of Protective Devices in the Care of Clients
  • Demonstrates Knowledge of Fire and Disaster Procedures; Identifies and Demonstrates Principles of Health and Sanitation in the Service of Food
  • Demonstrates Proper Use and Storage of Cleaning Agents and Other Potentially Hazardous Materials
  • Recognizes Abnormal Changes in Body Functions and the Importance of Reporting Changes to a Supervisor


9.     Death/dying client and family.  The nurse assistant will be able to use the nursing process to plan and implement care for the dying client and their family:

  • Discuss the Five Stages of Dying
  • Discuss His/Her Own Reactions to Death and Dying
  • Begin to Assess the Needs of the Dying Client and His/Her Family
  • Describe the Signs of Imminent Death; Understand General Post-death Care.


10.  Rules and Regulations.  The nurse assistant demonstrates knowledge of and is responsive to the laws and regulations which affect his/her practice including but not limited to: 

  • Client Abuse and Neglect
  • Client Complain Procedures
  • Workers Right to Know
  • The Uniform Disciplinary Act.


11.  Care of the cognitively impaired.  The nursing assistant demonstrates awareness of the various cognitive disorders, i.e., dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental illness, retardation and other related disorders, and possible causes, characteristics and demonstrated behaviors

  • Aware of the Behavior and Care of the Cognitively Impaired Client:
  • Describes Methods for Reducing the Effects of Cognitive Impairment
  • Aware of Effective Interventions and Techniques Using Re-directing Re-approaching for Managing Behaviors of the Cognitively Impaired
  • Communication Techniques for Interacting With the Cognitively Impaired With Focus on Non-verbal and Verbal Feedback and One Step Directives
  • Uses Appropriate Responses for Working With the Behavior of the Cognitively Impaired. Demonstrates Modification of His/Her Behavior in Response to Behavior of the Cognitively Impaired
  • Knows the Various Stages of Loss Seen With Alzheimer’s Disease and Effective Approaches in Dealing With These Losses Both With Clients and Family Insight Into Modifications Beneficial in Directing and Assisting Cognitively Impaired Client With Activity of Daily Living Skills, Including Dietary and Mobility Needs
  • Values the Importance of Social Interactions at All Levels of Cognitive Function: Provides Opportunity for Meaningful Social Interaction Relevant to Individual Cognitive Abilities Realizes the Right of All Clients to Dignity and Provides Dignity for Clients at All Levels of Cognitive Loss
  • Aware of How Physiological Needs Directly Affect Behavioral Responses and Emotional Alterations;
  • Aware of Unique Challenges to the Family/Social Structure Seen With Long Term/Short Term Cognitive Losses
  • Provides Support and Reinforcement


12.  General Patient Care

  • Provide Basic Patient Care Under the Direction of Nursing Staff (E.G.,Bathing, Bedmaking, Catheter Care, Transfer, Assisting With Adls).
  • Provide Emotional Support for Patients and Their Families While Performing Patient Care.
  • Support the Coping Mechanisms of Patients and Their Families Who Are Dealing With Grief, Death, and Dying.
  • Set up Equipment to Be Used by the Patient (E.G., Oxygen, Alternating Pressure Mattresses).
  • Provide Patient Care for a Patient With a Feeding Tube (E.G.,Aspiration Precautions, Observe Tubing for Kinks or Problems).
  • Perform Care Related to the Special Needs Patient (E.G., Physically, Sensory, Cognitively or Mentally Impaired).
  • Report Any New Changes in the Patient’s Condition (E.G., Level of Consciousness, Shortness of Breath).
  • Monitor and Record Functions Related to Digestion (E.G., Bowel Movements, Percentage of Meal Eaten).
  • Monitor, Record, and Accurately Measure Intake/Output (E.G., Urine, Emesis, Wound Drainage).
  • Assist in Admission, Discharge, And/Or Transfer of Patient to Another Unit or Facility.
  • Follow the Established Restorative Plan of Care Ordered for the Patient.
  • Perform Passive Range of Motion (Rom) for the Patient.
  • Assist With Restorative Rehabilitation Activities (E.G., Bowel and Bladder Retraining).
  • Use Adaptive Devices for Activities of Daily Living (E.G., Feeding and Dressing Devices).
  • Keep Patient Area Clean. Transfer a Patient Using a Mechanical Lift. Manually Lift and Transfer a Patient.
  • Apply Immobility Splints to Patients.
  • Provide One-on-one Care for Patients Who Are at Risk for Suicide.
  • Provide Skin Care (E.G., Repositioning, Creams, Moisture Barrier).
  • Identify and Report Changes in Skin Integrity.
  • Utilize Devices to Prevent Skin Breakdown (E.G., Air Mattresses, Draw Sheets). Apply Sequential Compression Boots.
  • Apply Anti-embolitic Stockings (E.G., Ted Hose).
  • Assist the Patient With Coughing, Deep-breathing Exercises.
  • Perform First Aid, Cpr, and Rapid Response Procedures.
  • Report Critical Values to the Appropriate Nurse in Charge of the Patient.
  • Assist the Patient With Incentive Spirometry.
  • Check Dressings for Increased Saturation and Changes.
  • Follow the 5 Rights of Delegation.
  • Prioritize Patient Care Based on Patient Needs.
  • Recognize Visual Abnormalities in Patient Specimens (E.G., Stool, Sputum, Urine, Emesis).
  • Monitor Vital Signs and Patient Status During Blood Transfusions.
  • Assist Patient With Taking Self-administered Prescribed Medications.
  • Apply Oxygen Therapy (E.G., Nasal Cannula, Mask).
  • Assist With Patient-administered Nebulizer Treatments.
  • Weigh a Patient (E.G., Standing, Wheelchair, or Bed Scales).
  • Assist Patients With Orthotic or Prosthetic Devices (E.G., Hearing Aids, Dentures, Artificial Eyes, or Extremities).
  • Perform Home Health Aide Services.
  • Perform Hospice/Palliative Aide Care Services.
  • Perform Ostomy Care (Excluding Irrigation).
  • Assist With Ostomy Care. Perform Postmortem Care.
  • Observe for and Report Edema.
  • Observe and Report Patient Pain Using a Pain Scale.
  • Monitor and Record Vital Signs Blood Pressure (Manually) Blood Pressure (Electronically) Pulse (Manually) Pulse (Electronically) Apical Pulse Apical-radial Deficit Respirations (Manually) Respirations (Electronically) Pulse Oximetry


13. Provide Safety for patient. Identify and Report : Abuse or Neglect of Patients

  • Sexual Harassment Involving Patients or Staff
  • Substance Abuse Involving Patients or Staff
  • Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Abuse Involving Patients or Staff
  • Transport Patients Using Proper Body Mechanics
  • Transfer Patients Using Proper Body Mechanics
  • Monitor Patients’ Environmental Safety (E.G., Fall Precautions, Faulty Equipment)
  • Prevent Workplace Injuries by Following Osha Guidelines.
  • Recognize and Respond to Emergency Situations (E.G., Fire, Hostage, Biological Hazard).
  • Follow the Proper Procedures for Identifying Patients.
  • Follow Joint Commission (Jcaho) Patient Safety Guidelines.
  • Practice Safety Procedures When Using Medical Supplies and Equipment (E.G., Lock the Hospital Bed, Lock Wheelchairs, Raise Stretcher Side Rails, and Apply Safety Belts and Restraints).
  • Report and Document Work-related Accidents.


14.  Professional Responsibilities

  • Obtain and maintain Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification for health care providers.
  • Adhere to HIPAA regulations regarding Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • Communicate with other health care professionals using appropriate medical terminology.
  • Observe the chain of command in a healthcare setting.
  • Use therapeutic communication when talking to patients (e.g., interpersonal skills).
  • Adhere to regulations regarding operational standards (e.g., JCAHO, CLSI).