WVU Medicine Camden Clark Patient Care Tech Training Program Provides Advancement Opportunities

PARKERSBURG — WVU Medicine Camden Clark’s Patient Care Tech “earn while you learn” program gives participants an opportunity to learn skills to help advance their career in healthcare.

The in-house noncertified training program began a year ago and eight classes of new team members have been completed to date. Due to the program’s success, WVU Medicine East has modeled its own program, which will start at Berkley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center in March.

“The PCT training program provides a steppingstone for the PCT program graduate to prepare for other healthcare careers in the future,” Mary Kibble-Leu, Camden Clark director of professional practice and education, said. “We believe it is important to provide opportunities for career development and this program is one way we can do that here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”

With up to 10 trainees in each class, participants have two weeks of classroom instruction and simulation, followed by four weeks of clinical training within the hospital with a PCT program trainer.

Applicants accepted in the program are paid during their training, a true benefit of the initiative. The Camden Clark Foundation is instrumental in the support of this program by providing three sets of uniforms for each graduate.

Following completion of the course, participants are interviewed and can apply for open positions. At that time, they qualify for the starting PCT hourly pay rate, as well as full time benefits. During the program’s first year, 49 trainees have been hired.

“I have learned a lot, and I am excited about this opportunity,” Breanna Florence, who recently completed the program and was hired this month, said.

The Patient Care Tech training program is geared to hospital-based care and is a way to acquire education and experience that could lead to other healthcare careers at Camden Clark. To date, three PCT grads are entering nursing school.

Michael Martin, who began his career at Camden Clark in dietary, was a graduate of the first PCT class.

“I have learned a lot from the training program, and I am now attending college to become an RN,” Mrtin said. “This training program really started me on my way to advancing my healthcare career!”

Program Instructor Pat Sigley, who also began her career in dietary at Camden Clark 20 years ago, understands what it means to have opportunities for advancement.

“My goal for the PCT program is to assist the trainees in becoming competent and compassionate caregivers for our patients,” Sigley said. “An added bonus is watching the PCT’s develop confidence and a love for nursing, resulting in furthering their education and enriching their lives.”

The first class of 2021 began in January, Camden Clark plans to offer seven classes this year.

For more information, contact Angie Neiswanger at (304) 424-2180 or angela.neiswanger@wvumedicine.org.