Do you suggest I take CNA, Phlebotomy, or PCT for my clinical experience needed for Pre-PA?

Out of the three, PCT is hands-down better for clinical experience to count toward becoming a PA. The experience that can be gained as a PCT is more independent, more diverse and can allow the applicant more opportunity to work with PAs.

Do I need hands on experience for PA School or can it just be front desk healthcare experience?

Front desk, administrative work will not earn you clinical experience. Direct experience work with patients is required. Work as a PCT, Medical Assistant, EMT are all great ways to earn clinical experience. Since PCT is the shortest program of the 3, we highly suggest you get your PCT credentials.

How many hours do I need to become a PA student?

The number of required hours to become a PA student varies from one school to the next. That being said, though each school posts a minimum number of hours required to apply, many competitive students will exceed that number. Get as many hours as you can. At Northeast Medical Institute we suggest you start getting clinical hours documented as soon as you turn 16 years old. Since you can become a CNA at the age of 16 you can then work and document your hours. Once you become 18 years old then you can take on the PCT role and document those hours throughout your college career. The more hours you have the more competitive you will be when applying to top universities in the area; Sacred Heart University, Quinnipiac University, University of Bridgeport, etc

I am currently a Pre-PA student should I enroll in a CNA or PCT Program now?

If you have no other qualifications in the medical field, absolutely, enroll in a PCT program. You want to start earning your clinical hours and becoming a PCT is a quick way to get there. You can always build on that, but get your foot in the field ASAP! With the PCT Program at Northeast Medical Institute you will be licensed as a CNA, and also certified as a Phlebotomists and Patient Care Technician. All 3 of these credentials can enable you to find a great job which can be put towards your clinical experience which is required for PA School.

What clinical experience do I need to become a PA?

The more hands-on and independent in assessing and providing care the better. Working as a Paramedic is great experience however a very long program and not for everyone. Not everyone has that level credential, which is fine, working as PCT counts, as does a number of other health-care positions. The more you do, the more diverse your experience the better. At Northeast Medical institute we offer a number of programs which can help you get valuable clinical experience.

What counts as clinical experience for PA School?

Clinical experience is direct patient experience. Applicants to PA school need to keep in mind that when completing the CASPA application, you will need to specify what amount of your work hours were working directly with the patients. In other words, if you work a full-time job as a Medical Assistant for 1 year, you have worked for 2000 hours, but it wasn’t all direct patient care, so if half was then you’ve gained 1000 hours of clinical experience.

Why would you want to become a PCT over just becoming a Phlebotomist or CNA?

Choosing what level you want to work at or achieve is a personal preference. Many people truly enjoy working with the elderly and though they have earned the PCT certification, they use it solely to work as a CNA. Having the additional certification does make them a more competitive applicant and it is education that can’t be taken away, so if they ever choose to work in a different capacity they have the qualifications. Some people don’t like needles, so working as a Phlebotomist isn’t for them. Why someone would do something will vary from one person to the next. Visit a school, see what the programs are like and which feels the best for you. Think about where you’d like to work and the type of patients you’d like to help.

What percentage of CNA, Phlebotomy, and EKG questions are on the PCT Exam?

The PCT exam is a mix of content from CNA, Phlebotomy and EKG. There are many CNA questions as well as many questions on safety and confidentiality of patient information. To learn more click the link and review the CPCT exam outline for the NHA certification exam.

Who are you certified through as a PCT?

Certification for PCT is available through the National Healthcareer Association among other agencies. Contact your school administrator to learn which agency you will certify with.

What is the typical route to become a PCT?

The typical route to become a PCT is to enroll and successfully complete an approved route. After completion, pass a certification exam and apply for employment. Through an accelerated program, such as the one offered at Northeast Medical Institute one can obtain certification in less than three months.

Where do PCTs work?

A Patient Care Technician can work in a number of different facilities. They can even work in the mobile capacity. Dialysis centers, hospitals and specialty offices are among a few where PCTs commonly find employment.

Can a PCT draw blood?

Yes. A Patient Care Technician can draw blood. Most CPCTs receive education enough to take a national certification exam. Check with your program administrators to confirm the curriculum covers that required by the certifying agency. At Northeast Medical Institute, students in the PCT program earn their Certification as Certified Phlebotomy Technicians.

Who gets paid more CNA or PCT?

A Patient Care Technician normally makes more than a Certified Nurse Aide. Of course, it depends on where each are working and how much experience they have. Compensation has many factors that can affect its rate, but on average a PCT earns a higher salary than a CNA.

How much does a patient care technician make an hour?

According to, the average salary in CT for a Patient Care Tech is $32,346-38,00 per year. With that number we can calculate that the average PCT in Connecticut makes $16.55-18.50 per hour. Note: didn’t show average compensation for a PCT in CT. The salary for this role can vary depending on the type of facility worked. It did post that the national average for a Dialysis Patient Care Technician at just under $40,000 per year. This calculates to $19.23, so about $19 per hour on average if working in a dialysis center.

What is PCT training?

PCT training is education to become a Certified Patient Care Technician. This training includes education and certification for Certified Nurse Aide credentials as well as Certified Phlebotomy Technician. While certification as an EKG Tech is optional, the PCT student will receive the training required to become an EKG Tech.

How long does it take to become a PCT?

The time it takes to become a PCT can vary depending on the program. Some accelerated programs offer graduation and certification in less than 3 months, while others can be closer to 1 year. Colleges tend to take longer than other schools, but the education provided is of similar content. To register for an accelerated Patient Care Technician program click the link

How do you prepare for an EKG?

Preparation for an EKG is minimal, sometimes includes shaving of chest hair. Your ordering physician or EKG technician will give specific preparation instructions.

Where do EKG techs work?

Some places an EKG tech can work are a hospital or cardiologist office.

Are EKG technicians in demand?

EKG technicians are not in as high demand as Patient care technicians, because there aren’t as many jobs as an EKG tech. That being said, there are many jobs where part of the requirements of the position is to perform EKGs, but many of those jobs are staffed by Patient Care Technicians and Medical Assistants.

What is phlebotomy and EKG?

Phlebotomy is a procedure of puncturing a vein with a needle to obtain a venous blood specimen for testing. Phlebotomists are trained to perform these procedures as well as procedures to obtain capillary blood and non-blood specimens. EKG is a recording of the electrical conduction through the heart. An EKG technician is trained to set up and monitor EKGs.

How much do EKG techs make?

According to, the average EKG tech in CT makes $41,000 per year. This number can change with location and experience, among other factors. This is an impressive ROI as there are EKG programs for less than $1000 and certification can be obtained in less than 1 week! Register today

How long is EKG technician training?

EKG training can be as little as two days long. It can also run up to one month, this really depends on the program/school. At Northeast Medical Institute we offer a daytime 3-day course and a 6-day evening course. EKG For National Healthcareeer Association certification, a minimum of 10 live EKGs must be performed prior to graduation.

Can you take the CNA test online?

Yes, the certification exam has a section that can be administered online. However, it is only offered at specific locations and is proctored by Prometric. Some schools offer the exam on campus. Even in those cases, a proctor from Prometric goes to that campus to administer the exam. The CT CNA exam consists of a multiple choice section as well as a clinical skills section. The clinical skills section will be administered in an approved lab to simulate providing care in a long-term care facility. Test results are given in the same day.

Can a CNA start an IV?

No. Starting an IV is a sterile procedure. CNAs in CT are not trained to perform any sterile procedures.

Who gets paid more CNA or PCT?

Salary is something that can vary with each employee or employer, but typically a Patient Care Technician would receive higher pay than a Certified Nurse Aide. A PCT has more training and can perform venipuncture procedures as well as electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Can a CNA prescribe medication?

No. A CNA can’t prescribe medications. A Nurse Practitioner (APRN) is able to prescribe.

What does CNA stand for and are there other abbreviations for the job title?

CNA stands for Certified Nurse Aide. It is also sometimes referred to as a Certified Nursing Assistant or simply a Nurse Aide. The abbreviation would stay the same, as an NA refers to a Nurse Anesthetist. There is an abbreviation, HHA, which stands for Home Health Aide. Completion of a CNA program (without state exam) is sufficient education to work as an HHA. This means a CNA program graduate can work as an HHA until they pass the CT state certification to be a Certified Nurse Aide.

How long does it take to become a phlebotomist?

The duration of the program varies greatly from as little as 2 weeks to as much as 9 months. This depends on the number of days/hours per week the class is scheduled and the duration of the program. The requirement with the National Healthcareer Association is that each student must successfully complete a minimum of 30 venipunctures and 10 capillary sticks to graduate. There is also, still, an option to become a phlebotomist by on the job training. While the medical field is evolving, this may change, but currently it is an option and the timeline on that would depend on the trainer, as wood the level of education and skill provided.

How long does it take to become a phlebotomist?

The duration of the program varies greatly from as little as 2 weeks at Northeast Medical Institute to as much as 9 months at other schools. This depends on the number of days/hours per week the class is scheduled and the duration of the program. The requirement with the National Healthcareer Association is that each student must successfully complete a minimum of 30 venipunctures and 10 capillary sticks to graduate.

What qualifications do you need to become a phlebotomist?

To become a Phlebotomist you need to complete a training program. Northeast Medical Institute provides training and certification in as little as 2 weeks. The credential and title Certified Phlebotomy Technician is only earned by successfully completing an approved program and certification exam.

How much does a phlebotomist make?

The salary of a phlebotomist varies. Most jobs in CT will start around $15-17 per hour for a new phlebotomist, but the salary can increase. Though harder to find, there are phlebotomists making over $30 per hour which may require you to do home draws.

Is it hard to become a phlebotomist?

No. It’s not hard to become a phlebotomist. There is some time and dedication to passing a training program, but even students who haven’t been in school for years or have struggled to earn their GED have been successful in becoming a phlebotomist. If that is what you want to do, go after it! Register for the next class at

Is phlebotomy a stressful job?

No. Working as a phlebotomy technician isn’t very stressful. It’s very rewarding in that you are able to make a sometimes anxious patient feel at ease and relieved with the procedure. It’s important to remember the impact the procedure might have on the patient. Some patients are waiting for life-changing results. Maintaining a pleasant environment and positive attitude helps make it just that for the patient.

Can a phlebotomist start an IV?

No. A phlebotomist is not trained to start an IV. If a phlebotomist trains to become a Patient Care Technician they will learn how to remove an IV.

Is becoming a phlebotomist a good career?

Becoming a phlebotomist isn’t for everyone, but if you’re comfortable in a medical setting, working with needles and bodily fluids, then absolutely! Working as a phlebotomist can be very rewarding and enjoyable. You get to interact with many different people and help make their procedure as smooth and pleasant as possible.

Can you start looking for a job with just a phlebotomy certificate?

You can and should start looking for a phlebotomy job right away. The state of CT doesn’t require a phlebotomist to be certified, so even before certification has been earned one can start work. Applications can, also, sometimes take time to process, so applying early is the best practice.

Where are some good starter positions when becoming a phlebotomist?

A small medical practice would be the ideal position for a starting phlebotomist because they have more time and other staff to make the orientation smooth. These positions are not always available in your area, in which case any phlebotomy position open would be a great start. Bottom line is you want to keep working to gain experience.

What is the name of the company you are certified through when taking the CPT Exam?

At Northeast Medical Institute, Phlebotomy certification is done through the National Healthcare Association. The NHA is used with many training programs and provides national certification. The certification is good for two years, at which time recertification can be done online.

Can you be a CNA without being certified?

No. CNA stands for Certified Nurse Aide. Even when one refers to a nurse aide, it is understood that they are certified. Certification can be obtained in less than 3 weeks. So, anyone looking to become a CNA should call Northeast Medical Institute today!

Is a nurse aide a CNA?

Yes, the term CNA and nurse aide and nursing assistant are all referring to the same position. Certified Nurse Aide is the term used by the CT Department of Public Health. The title can vary by employer, but the certification is standard and a necessity to perform the duties required in that role.

Can I just take the CNA test?

No. In order to qualify for the CNA certification exam, in CT, one must successfully complete an approved 100 hour training program. Call Northeast Medical Institute now to register for the next class!

How do I become a CNA in CT?

To become a CNA in CT you must successfully complete an approved 100 hour CNA program and pass both sections of the Certified Nurse Aide Certification Exam offered by Prometric. The certification exam includes a multiple-choice section and a practical section, a CNA graduate must pass both sections within 2 years from their program graduation date to become CT state-certified.

How long does it take to become a CNA in CT?

Every CNA program in CT must be a minimum of 100 hours in length. Some programs are longer. The 100 hours can be done on a full-time basis or spread out of several months. Attendance is critical to successfully completing a CNA program, so consider the class schedule before you enroll. There are many schedule options available at Northeast Medical Institute. Our program is 2 weeks and 2 days long and we offer classes in both in New Haven and Stamford.

Is the CNA Exam Hard?

The level of difficulty varies depending on the abilities of the test taker, but one must successfully pass an approved CNA program prior to testing for certification, so they should at that point have the knowledge to pass the exam. Test takers who fail are encouraged to try again, as there is no limit to the number of times one can attempt the test within two years from their graduation date.

Can I become a CNA online?

Online nursing programs are becoming more available. As this trend increases there may be more options to become a CNA. Because the role of a CNA is very hands-on with patient care, students are encouraged to find a hybrid program with adequate direct patient hours to gain the needed experience for working in the field.

How much does a CNA Test cost?

$118 to take the online and practical portions of the exam. For an additional $10, there is an oral testing option in which the test would play an audio of the questions as the tester moves through the exam. If a tester fails one portion, either the online or the practical, only that failed part needs to be retaken. The cost for the online (multiple choice) section is $45 (add $10 for oral test) and clinical skills (practical) section is $73. At Northeast Medical Institute we offer In-Facility testing at both of our facilities.

What is the fastest way to become a CNA?

The fastest way to become a CNA is to complete an accelerated program which offers testing on site. Northeast Medical Institute offers an accelerated program to become a Certified Nurse Assistant and is an onsite testing facility. Students can register for the program and become certified in as little as two and a half weeks.

What is the highest paying state for CNA?

According to Ziprecruiter, New York is the state that has the highest average pay for Certified Nurse Aides. Massachusetts and Maryland follow for 2nd and third-highest average salaries for CNAs.

Is being CNA a hard job?

The level of difficulty working as a Nursing Assistant can vary based on the type of facility and the needs of each patient. In addition, the workload can be a factor; adequate staffing is crucial to balance the demand on the CNAs and allow for quality patient care. There are many different employment options available to CNAs. Being a CNA, no matter the workplace, can be very rewarding.

Is CNA in high demand?

Nurse Aides are in such high demand that many students have job offers before they complete their CNA program. According to the US Deptartment of Labor, the job growth from 2018- 2028 is 14%, which is 9% greater than the average job. At Northeast Medical Institute we have companies come into the school near the end of CNA course to go over open positions they currently have in their facilities.

How much do hospitals pay CNA’s?

Salary for a Certified Nurse Aide is at a national median of $15.00. It really depends on the employer and the CNA as to how much compensation each worker will receive exactly. Hospital pay varies, from one employer to the next. We would say Hospital and Private Pay jobs are the highest-paid positions. We have seen some very high paying private duty jobs especially in Fairfield County, CT

What CNA jobs pay the most?

Compensation for CNA jobs varies and depends on many factors. However, there are private cases that can pay significantly more than the average Nurse Assistant position. If a CNA has many years experience or speaks another language there is potential to negotiate for a higher salary.

What CNA job has the most flexibility?

Schedule flexibility really varies with each job. A homecare case could be 24 hours per day for a completely dependent person or 4 hours per day for someone who needs minimal assistance. The flexibility also depends on how well an employer is staffed for that position. The more staff, typically, the more coverage when a CNA needs time off or a shift change.

Do CNAs get paid more in the hospital setting?

The pay for a Certified Nurse Aide working in a hospital can be higher than the compensation for those working in another type of facility, but this is not a guarantee. Job compensation for a CNA can vary from one facility to the next, also factors such as experience can help an Aide get paid more. The 2018 national median for a Certified Nurse Aide is $15.00 per hour. According to, the average CNA in CT is $17.00-22.00 per hour.

What is the difference between a CNA and a Medical Assistant?

There are many differences between a CNA and a Medical Assistant. There are differences in the training they receive and the work they perform. A CNA can be trained and certified within 3 weeks, with a minimum of 100 hours required. Most Medical Assistant programs are up to one year long. To qualify for the AMT exam, there is a minimum of 880 invested hours. The coursework covered in CNA is focused toward geratric care in a long-term care facility. Medical Assistant training is focused toward acute care and goes beyond direct patient care to cover administrative duties, as well.

Can a CNA work privately?

Yes. It’s not uncommon for Certified Nursing Assistants to work private cases and most of those are very high paying jobs. Often, word of mouth leads to a family member or friend in need asking for their services. This is also an opportunity for the CNA to negotiate salary. Private cases often pay CNAs higher rates than long-term care facilities.

Can a felon become a CNA?

Yes, a felon can become a CNA. However, it will can be difficult to find employment . in some cases. Some employers will not even consider the applicant, but maybe a family member who has had an opportunity to know the person outside of work would if they had a need.

How do you become EKG certified?

To become a certified EKG technician, one must successfully complete a training program and certification exam. While this certification is acceptable to obtain, there are few jobs that require it. Obtaining a Certified Patient Care Technician credential would be more beneficial as it has the EKG training and includes Phlebotomy and CNA. The CPCT is a more well-rounded technician and often is employed by hospitals and busy medical practices.