News Release
AUGUST 24, 2011



National Certification Exam Now Part of Program -
Class Starts Sept. 13

BRIDGEPORT – Obtaining Patient Care Technician (PCT) certification has just become easier at Housatonic Community College.

Starting next month, students completing the PCT program will be able to take their national certification exams at the college as part of the course. That’s because Housatonic has become certified as a testing site by the National Healthcareer Association, which offers the certification.

The PCT Program is the next rung up from Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA) on the health care career ladder. It adds another layer of skills to those learned in a CNA program, preparing students to perform patient-care activities that include such things as lab tests, electrocardiograms, simple dressing changes, phlebotomy, and physical and occupational therapy.

“We’re delighted that we can offer the exam as part of the program,” said Deborah S. Kuchmas, director of workforce and non-credit programs. “No longer will PCT candidates have to take courses at Housatonic, and then travel to another location at some future time for the examination.”

The PCT training offers a pathway that will enable interested people to develop the skills necessary to seek higher-level positions in health-care facilities. The HCC course is approved under the Workforce Investment Act, which extends tuition benefits to unemployed and underemployed health care workers based on financial need.

For students interested in pursuing a health career pathway, HCC offers both CNA and PCT programs. Both programs, which run for 12 weeks, start Sept. 12.

HCC will offer the PCT training again in the Spring, which will enable interested students to begin their CNA program in September and obtain their PCT certification in the Spring.

“Offering these programs reflects HCC’s commitment to preparing students for careers that are in demand,” said HCC Dean of Community Outreach Gary A. Kecskés. “It is central to Housatonic’s mission to offer such programs when so many people are looking for jobs and career changes.”

Both programs will enable health care providers to meet the growing demand for these medical professionals as baby boomers reach retirement age, Kecskés said. “Nursing careers are projected to grow 17 percent over the next eight years,” he said.

“More and more health-care facilities are looking for skilled nurses trained as a PCT,” he added. “Hospitals are beginning to change their patient-care models to offer quality nursing skills and enhance customer service.”

A new CNA/PCT Laboratory at HCC accommodates the programs and enables students to practice the skills learned in class.

The PCT course includes lectures, labs and clinicals. Lectures will be held Tuesdays, Sept. 13 – Dec. 5, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., in Room A208 in Lafayette Hall. Labs will be held Saturdays, Sept. 17 – Oct 22 (no class 10/15), 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (30-minute lunch) in Lafayette Hall Room A208, while clinicals will be conducted Saturdays, Oct. 29 – Dec. 10, (no class Nov. 26), 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (30-minute lunch), Bridgeport Hospital.  Tuition for is $2,250, which includes the exam fee, textbooks, supplies, materials, and uniforms.

The CNA program also includes lectures, labs and clinicals. Lectures will be held Mondays, Sept. 12 – Dec. 5 (no class Oct. 10), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room B125 in Lafayette Hall. Students can choose between two labs: Tuesdays, Sept. 13 – Oct. 25 (no class Oct. 11), 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (30-minute lunch), Room 208 in Lafayette Hall, and Thursdays, Sept. 15 – Oct. 27 (no class Oct. 13), 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (30-minute lunch), in Room 208 in Lafayette Hall.

Students also have the choice of two clinicals: Tuesdays, Nov. 1 – Dec.6, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (30-minute lunch), Lord Chamberlain Nursing and Rehab Center in Stratford, and Thursdays, Nov. 3 – Dec. 15 (no class Nov. 24), 7 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (30-minute lunch), Lord Chamberlain Nursing and Rehab Center. Tuition is $995.

For more information, or to apply for either of the programs, contact Continuing Education at 203-332-5057. 

Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.  In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs.  HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution.

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.