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Become a Patient Care Technician With Project OnRamp

Last updated on October 9, 2019

Current certified nurse aides can participate in a free job training opportunity that will help increase their earning potential by up to 20 percent: Project OnRamp!

What is Project OnRamp?

Project OnRamp, a partnership with JPMorgan Chase and its New Skills at Work program, is designed for certified nurse aides who are ready to train for the next step in their careers. Qualified candidates for the program can earn their patient care technician certification in less than six months at no cost to them. While in the program, you’ll learn how to perform things like electrocardiograms (EKGs) and phlebotomy, and you’ll learn to provide proper bedside care that is essential to providing good patient care. Once certified, you can expect to earn up to $32,000 a year.

What Patient Care Technicians Do

A patient care technician does things like:

  • report on patients’ conditions
  • work alongside doctors and nurses for medical examinations
  • perform EKGs and basic laboratory procedures
  • assist patients with their mobility and more

Like many health care support positions, these jobs can be especially important due to the amount of time you may spend interacting directly with and caring for patients.

What’s the Difference Between a Patient Care Technician, a Medical Assistant and a Phlebotomist?

Patient care technicians can become medical assistants as a “next step up” with additional training in medical front office work. In addition, they can also get certified to become phlebotomists by completing a training program and logging a certain number of hours of clinical experience in blood draws and/or venipunctures. It’s also worth noting that the term “Patient Care Technician” is also often used interchangeably with Certified Nurses Aide, although PCTs usually have more training in areas like phlebotomy and EKG than CNAs.

Once you’ve completed the training to become a patient care technician, you can also train to become an EKG technician or a licensed vocational nurse. You may also find yourself considering becoming a registered nurse, or pursuing a career in medical insurance coding and billing.

Patient Care Technician Training Requirements

In order to be eligible for Project OnRamp, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete the application form (PDF – 245 KB)
  • Provide a copy of your Certified Nurse Aid license
  • Provide a copy of your CPR card, if you have one
  • Provide proof or required immunizations. (Scholarship funds may be available/used to pay for immunizations if you don’t have them.)
  • Pass all criminal background checks and drug screenings for employment
  • Be eligible to work in the United States

As a Project OnRamp student, you’ll be required to complete 45-184 clock hours of classroom instruction. You’ll take these courses through either DCCCD or the Texas Health Resources University, both of which offer flexible scheduling options. Additionally, you’ll also practice your skills in DCCCD’s state-of-the-art simulation labs and participate in workshops to prepare yourself for interviews and professional networking opportunities.

Are you ready to take the next step? Use our requirements checklist to gather your materials, complete the application form (PDF – 245KB), and submit it by fax to  214-860-2603 or by email to: or Questions, or need more info? Call 214-860-2283.

Note: The grant funding for this program will end at the conclusion of Fall 2016. New applicants must complete the program (EKG and Phlebotomy training) no later than December 31, 2016.

Not currently a health care support professional? Check out our nursing and health care degrees and certificates.

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