Patient Care Assistant (PCA) Salary
Job Description for Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Patient care aides work with patients under the direct supervision of health care professionals, such as doctors or nurses. They help patients with tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They also assist with taking patients' temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. Additionally, they assist with preparing and administering medications, collecting specimens for lab tests, monitoring patients, and recording treatment.Read More...
They often communicate with patients often so that they can relay necessary information to the patients’ doctors. This requires them to be very empathetic and to be able to connect and interact well with their patients. Their work can often be physical, and it can require long hours on their feet, which means that a patient care aid should be in adequate shape. They are often working alongside nurses and other aids, so they must be able to work well on a team, follow directions well, and be able to offer help wherever it is most needed. They must be able to communicate information well between the patient and the health care providers.
It may be possible to earn this position with just a high school diploma or equivalent. Many patient care aids will be required to complete training hours, and it may be necessary to become a certified nursing assistant by passing an exam. The requirements vary by state. Experience as a caregiver or hospital volunteer can be very beneficial in this field.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA) Tasks
- Assist patients with daily activities including feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility, changing linens, and taking medication.
- Provide basic patient care under the direction of a nursing staff.
Common Career Paths for Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Patient Care Assistants who go on to become Emergency Room Registered Nurses may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Emergency Room Registered Nurses is $61K annually. Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses are common next-step roles for Patient Care Assistants moving up in their careers; annual pay for Registered Nurses is $31K higher on average, and it's $12K higher for Licensed Practical Nurses.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA) Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Methodist, Nationwide Children's Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and Baptist Hospital are all popular places to work. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, St. Luke's Health System offers the most; Patient Care Assistants earn $31K on average there. Soaring salaries can also be found at Virginia Hospital Center, Methodist, and Texas Children's Hospital, where earnings of $31K, $31K, or $29K are standard for Patient Care Assistants.
Also approaching the lower end are Baptist Hospital at $25K, St. Luke's Hospital at $25K, and Nationwide Children's Hospital at $26K.
Popular Skills for Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Ekg, CNA, Long Term Care, and Phlebotomy are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 12 percent and 17 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Cleaning. Most people experienced in Acute Care also know Ekg.
Pay by Experience Level for Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $24K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $27K. On average, Patient Care Assistants make $30K following one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $31K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
For Patient Care Assistants, New York provides a pay rate that is 43 percent greater than the national average. Patient Care Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New Haven (+32 percent), Houston (+15 percent), Phoenix (+15 percent), and Cincinnati (+6 percent). Patient Care Assistants in Tuscaloosa report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 26 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Employers also pay below the national average in Augusta (18 percent lower) and Birmingham (15 percent lower).