The Patient Care Technician Program, a comprehensive curriculum offered by William Paterson University, is a stepping stone for Passaic Valley’s future nursing students. This program helps nurture the skills of future nurses, affording them an understanding of the medical field before they officially enter it. Students also receive a certification that will allow them to work in a hospital or doctor’s office as a Patient Care Technician.
This year’s class includes five senior students: Angie Blanco, Lilli Harrington, Victoria Mazzo, Alexandra Mora, and Samantha O’Hare. Ms. Yolanda Evgenior, Allied Health Instructor at William Paterson University, teaches the class and trains the students to become professional Patient Care Technicians, Medical Assistants, and Phlebotomy Technicians. “My students attend three clinical days at school where they perform ‘live’ clinicals, and, now with the hybrid program, they attend two days of virtual school,” said Ms. Evgenior. Students learn how to read vital signs and electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform venipuncture, skin punctures, urinalysis, and read and keep medical records. At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate from William Paterson University that will allow them to work in any medical facility as Patient Care Technicians.
The students practice medical techniques by drawing blood and pricking fingers on each other. They also take each other’s vital signs to get as much practice as possible. The class not only gives students a chance to work as soon as they graduate, but it also gives them experience and a glimpse of what this profession has to offer.
When Victoria Mazzo found out about the program, she knew that it was the perfect fit for her. “Going into this class I knew my heart belonged in the medical field. I loved taking care of loved ones who were sick and making them comfortable throughout their journeys. I always knew that’s the direction my future was heading towards,” said Mazzo.
Angie Blanco enrolled in the program to give herself some insight into being a Patient Care Technician. She is grateful she was able to take this course because of the future job opportunities. “This class portrays a vivid picture of the environment I soon will be working in,” said Blanco. Following graduation, the students in the program will be interviewing with Hackensack University Medical Center for potential employment.
Samantha O’Hare went into this class knowing she wanted to be a nurse, she just didn’t know where to start. “Being in the class now, I am more excited than before about going into the medical field,” said O’Hare.
Patient Care Technicians support nurses, doctors, and other medical staff within hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, laboratories, and doctor offices. They are the backbone of these facilities. Without these talented minds, the medical field would not be the same.