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Patient Care Technician

About the Program

In this 16-week Program you will gain experience working under the direct supervision of nurses, providing care for hospitalized patients. The program is offered at the following locations:

  • I'm near Hampton Roads (Southeastern Virginia) - program details below. 
  • I'm near Harrisonburg 

Learn the Skills for a Healthcare Career in Just 16 Weeks

Graduates of the Patient Care Technician Program can work as either Patient Care Technicians or Nursing Care Partners. In either role, you will provide vital patient care under the direct supervision of a nurse. You will help patients with daily living activities, such as bathing and eating. You will also take vital signs, draw blood specimens, perform wound care and dressing changes, insert urinary catheters, perform EKGs, and other selected medical tests and procedures. You will learn other skills, too, like how to operate specialized equipment, and how to communicate with healthcare providers, patients, and family members during sometimes stressful situations. You will be responsible for delivering quality patient care in the acute care setting.

Your Educational Experience

As a student, you’ll learn in classrooms, skills labs, clinical settings, and online, thanks to the College’s emphasis on hybrid learning. You’ll learn material when it’s convenient for you, then come together in class to discuss what you’ve learned; or in skills labs, where you’ll apply that knowledge in a safe environment that can simulate nearly any medical condition you might encounter. You’ll gain 180 hours of hands-on experience along the way. So you’ll graduate uniquely prepared for one of the most challenging and rewarding careers anywhere. You'll also be eligible to sit for the national Patient Care Technician certification exam, allowing you to work in the field nationwide. This approach to education is what makes Sentara College of Health Sciences one of the top healthcare schools in the region, and will set you apart from all others.

Patient Care Technician at a Glance

  • Program is 16 weeks
  • Classes are part-time, covering about 16 hours of instruction, skills labs, and clinicals per week
  • Day and evening classes and clinical hours are available on a first come, first served basis
  • 180 hours of hands-on experience in skills labs, simulation, and clinicals
  • The Program is offered in January and August each year
  • High school diploma or GED required to apply
  • Must be 18 years old by the first day of class
  • Now accepting applications for January 2020
  • Prepares you to work as a Patient Care Technician or Nursing Care Partner within Sentara Healthcare
  • Patient Care Technicians and Nursing Care Partners are in high demand within Sentara and nationwide
  • Placement assistance is available within Sentara Healthcare
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the national Patient Care Technician certification exam
  • Note that this Program does not qualify for federal student aid; payment plans and other assistance may be available
  • Tuition, fees, and expenses

Career Opportunities as a Patient Care Technician/Nursing Care Partner

As a Patient Care Technician you will learn skills that can be of value to hospitals and clinics across the country. Your abilities providing patient-centric care and your specialized communication skills can be valuable in many roles within the healthcare industry. Patient Care Technicians serve patients’ needs on a personal level, using a skill set that can enhance your career and help you build a foundation for long-term success. If you choose to sit for the national certification, you can find yourself in demand for similar jobs nationwide.


Interested in applying to this program?

Learn More 


New! Accelerated 12-Week Program Each Summer

Sentara College now offers an accelerated version of the Patient Care Technician Program. This Program, offered each summer, is designed for students who intend to become nurses or other healthcare providers. Because this accelerated program covers 16 weeks of material in only 12 weeks, you must be highly motivated and meet stricter application criteria. Class size is small and seats are very limited.

How Does the Accelerated Program Differ?

  • 12 weeks vs. 16 weeks
  • Daytime classes only
  • Begins each May
  • Intended for aspiring nurses and other care providers
  • Applicants must meet all criteria for the 16-week program, plus:
  • Achieve a minimum score of 20 on the Wonderlic pre-application test
  • And have successfully completed high school or college coursework in one of: Biology, Anatomy, Physiology/Pathophysiology, or Microbiology


Interested in applying to this program?

Learn More 

View all Facts

Accreditations & Certifications

Sentara College and the Patient Care Technician Program are accredited and certified by:

Sentara College of Health Sciences is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Sentara College of Health Sciences is certified to operate an institution of postsecondary education in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

The Patient Care Technician Program at Sentara College of Health Sciences is approved by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

Find Out If You´re Eligible to Apply

Have you graduated high school or equivalent?

Graduation from high school is a requirement. For more information please contact our Recruitment Office.

Are you a current US citizen or permanent resident?

We are only able to accept citizens or permanent residents. For more information please contact our Recruitment Office.

Will you be 18 years of age by the first day of classes?

You have to be 18 by the first day of classes. For more information please contact our Recruitment Office.

Are you okay with needles and blood?

Check out the Monitor Surveillance Program


Review the Program

Check out the application!


Apply Now

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