Patient Care Technician Certificate Program

Patient Care Technicians work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to oversee and monitor patients. As vital members of the healthcare team, they provide direct patient care and comfort measures, take vital signs, collect specimens, and much more.

Graduates of the Patient Care Technician program are eligible to sit for a variety of certification examinations, including:

  • Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT)
  • Certified Electrocardiography (CET)
  • Certified Phlebotomy (CPT)
  • Basic Cardiac Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS)

Although certification is not required to work in most states, employers prefer to hire certified Patient Care Technicians.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Patient Care Technician program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Benefit from:

  • A strong foundation in both the theory and techniques of patient care
  • Hands-on learning in on-site medical laboratories that simulate the clinical environment
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience gained through the completion of a Patient Care Practicum at off-campus healthcare facilities, under the supervision of New Jersey licensed Registered Professional Nurse (RN) instructors

Not all programs are offered for completion at each campus or through Berkeley College Online®. Please review the academic program pages ( for information on where each program is offered. Additionally, all students may be required to take some courses at another campus or online. The Career Development and Internship courses are only offered online.


Course Requirements


HEA2200 Medical Terminology

3 Credits

Provides a solid foundation and understanding of the medical language used by healthcare professionals through the introduction, reinforcement, and combination of medical word parts including prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Emphasis is placed on word building, analysis of word parts, spelling, special endings, plural forms, correct pronunciation of terminology related to procedures, and diseases of the various body systems. Commonly used abbreviations and symbols will also be introduced.

MED1130 Medical Emergencies and Electrocardiography

3 Credits

Introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the cardiac system. Students learn how to perform electrocardiogram (EKG) on patients, troubleshoot EKG machine problems, and recognize basic cardiac arrhythmias. Spirometry testing is performed. Students will also learn to respond to common emergency situations, administer first aid in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, recognize the effect of stress on all persons involved in emergency situations, and demonstrate self-awareness in responding to emergency situations. Emphasis is placed on professional attitudes and the principles and basic concepts of ethics and laws involved in providing medical services. Students must obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers certification through the American Heart Association.

Prerequisites or Corequisites: HEA2200, SCI1120

MED1140 Specimen Collection and Procedures

3 Credits

Students learn a variety of laboratory procedures, specimen collection, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment Waiver Test, and Point of Care Testing (PoCT). Includes performing proper venipuncture and finger-stick techniques for obtaining human blood specimens, as well as other methods of collecting body fluid specimens while complying with OSHA Standards.

Prerequisites or Corequisites: HEA2200, SCI1120

PCT1010 Foundations of Patient Care

6 Credits

Introduces students to the roles and responsibilities of healthcare providers in nursing care settings, as well as the associated legal and ethical considerations. This course also introduces students to the fundamental components of patient care and the application of techniques and procedures required to provide basic care.

PCT1320 Advanced Patient Care

3 Credits 

Builds the foundational knowledge required to provide safe and effective patient care; nutrition and fluid intake; comfort, rest and sleep; as well as the management of patients with injuries; and how to assist in the nursing process of patient admission, discharge, and transfer.

Prerequisite: PCT1010

PCT2310 Patient Care Communication

3 Credits

Examines key communication techniques utilized to facilitate effective communication between healthcare workers and patients. Students are exposed to relevant federal regulations and accreditation standards, electronic medical records and language lines, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication techniques.

Prerequisite: PCT1010

PCT2320 Patient Care Practicum

3 Credits

Provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in all previously completed courses to the acute care environment or laboratory with the supervision of a New Jersey Licensed Registered Nurse. Prerequisite: CPR certification and completion of all departmental physical forms, including purchase of malpractice insurance

Corequisite: PCT2700

PCT2700 Patient Care Capstone

3 Credits

Requires the integration of knowledge, skills, and techniques attained throughout the program. Critical thinking and teamwork skills are assessed through workplace-based case studies. This course stresses entry-level job requirements, upward career paths, resume writing skills, interviewing techniques, and networking. Prerequisite or

Corequisite: PCT1320


SCI1120 Human Biology

3 Credits

Study of the structure and function of the human body. Students are introduced to the various body systems, including the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, special senses, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, hematological/immunological, and cardiovascular. Course includes definitions, terminology, chemical basis of life, and energy, as well as microbiology.

SOC2225 Introduction to Psychology

3 Credits

Survey of the basic principles of psychology and their direct application to the understanding of human behavior so as to allow students to gain an understanding and awareness of their own everyday existence. Topics include human development, learning, memory, thinking, intelligence, creativity, motivation, emotion, adjustment, perception, abnormal behavior, and therapy.



Governing regulations may disqualify individuals from obtaining professional certification in this field based upon health or criminal records. Therefore, in addition to meeting the immunization requirements of Berkeley College and the State of New Jersey, students applying to the Health Sciences program must provide authorization for a criminal background check prior to registration and submit a physical assessment by a licensed medical professional prior to participating in clinical rotations. Students enrolled in the Patient Care Technician specialization are required to purchase their own malpractice insurance.

Extensive criminal background checks may be repeated after admission at the request of clinical facilities, and positive findings may prevent students from completing the clinical portion of the program, graduating, and participating in certification exams. Health requirements required for clinical courses are extensive and may total several hundred dollars. The costs of these health requirements are borne by the student.

The minimum passing grade required for Patient Care Technician (PCT) and Medical (MED) courses is a C. Any grade below a C is a failing grade. In order to pass PCT courses that consist of both didactic and clinical/laboratory portions, students must receive at least a C for the didactic portion of the course and a P for the clinical/laboratory portion. A failure in either the didactic or clinical/laboratory portion of a PCT course will result in a failing grade for the entire course. Therefore, only a PCT course in which students receive at least a C will satisfy the course requirements for the Patient Care Technician program.

To qualify for graduation, students enrolled in this specialization must pass all PCT and MED courses with a minimum grade of C as well as participate in the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) certification examination. Although certification is not required to work in most states, employers prefer to hire certified Patient Care Technicians.

This program also requires students to obtain specific supplies. Detailed information describing the required supplies and listing typical prices is available at

Any required traditional textbooks and/or some required supplies are included as part of the charge for tuition and fees and will be distributed to students. Please note, however, that students have the right to obtain traditional textbooks, and/or certain required items, from other sources. Students who demonstrate that they have obtained required item(s) from another source may return the items distributed by the College and receive a refund of the amount charged by the College for the specific item.