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Differences between a Licensed practical nurse and a Patient care technician

Differences between a Licensed practical nurse and a Patient care technician

Licensed practical nurses (LPN) are healthcare professionals that are responsible for the care of patients, and follow orders given by nurses or doctors. Whereas Patient care technicians / assistants (PCT/PCA), also referred to as nursing assistants, care for patients while being supervised by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Both professions play unique and vital roles within the healthcare team.

Education requirements and Training

Those individuals seeking a career as a LPN, require 2 years of training and a NCLEX-PN certificate. In contrast to PCTs, who can learn through on the job training or undergo training through community colleges, qualifying as a certified nursing assistants. In addition PCTs are required to register with the Family Care Safety Registry, in order to protect those patients seeking PCT services.

Job Specifications

Licensed practical nurse

  • Provision of basic bedside care
  • Test and record vitals
  • Administer injections and enemas
  • Perform insertion of catheters, massages, and dress wounds
  • Assist patients with personal hygiene tasks such as bathing, dressing, etc. as well as mobilisation, bed transfers, etc.
  • Feeding of those patients unable to complete feeding themselves
  • Supervision of PCTs
  • Collection of specimen samples
  • Cleaning and monitoring of medical equipment
  • Monitor and document patients reaction to medication
  • Educate family members on patient care[i]

Patient care technician

  • Assist with range of motion exercises and other rehabilitation measures
  • Testing and recording of vitals such as; heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, mass, etc.
  • Documentation of clinical information
  • Mobilisation of patients
  • Specimen collection
  • Maintaining patients personal hygiene
  • Aiding with meal preparation and planning, as well as with food and fluid intake
  • Provide emotional support to family members of patients[ii]

Working environments

Licensed practical nurse are employed in

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Physicians offices
  • Home health care services
  • Residential and community care centres

Patient care technician

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Private care at patients home due to disability or old age

Salaries

The average LPN salary per annum is between $31000 and $52000[iii]. While the average PCT salary is between $21000 and $37000[iv].

Comparisons between professions

Licensed practical nurse Patient care technician
2 years of training and a NCLEX-PN certificate on the job training or undergo training through community college
follow orders given by nurses or doctors supervised by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses
Assist patients with bedside care, as well as administer injections, enemas, insert catheters and dress wounds Assist patients with bedside care
Higher salary between $31000 and $52000 Lower salary between $21000 and $37000

Conclusion

The scope of practice of LPNs and PCTs are relatively similar, nevertheless both career paths play a vital role in healthcare.


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References :


[0][i] Search. (2017, March 02). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensed_practical_nurse#/search

[1][ii] Unlicensed assistive personnel. (2017, May 01). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlicensed_assistive_personnel

[2][iii] (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Licensed_Practical_Nurse_(LPN)/Hourly_Rate

[3][iv] (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Patient_Care_Technician/Hourly_Rate

[4]https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nursing_students.jpg

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