Hackensack Meridian Health PCT Programs

Hackensack Meridian Health PCT Programs

Advancing preceptorship and apprenticeship programs that will provide a career ladder for patient care technicians.

The People

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

The Project

The Grunin Foundation has given a $3 million gift to Hackensack Meridian Health Meridian Health Foundation to create patient care technician (PCT) preceptorship and apprenticeship programs that will provide a career ladder for team members looking to move into long-term, higher paying clinical positions such as nursing, while offering growth opportunities for team members who want to build a lifelong career as a PCT, including mentorship and leadership responsibilities. PCTs provide services such as supporting emergency room patients, reporting vital signs, checking blood pressure and pulse, monitoring patients’ conditions and providing updates to the care team. They also provide other direct patient care, including feeding, bathing, ambulating, phlebotomy, obtaining electrocardiograms (EKGs) and finger-stick blood glucose monitoring, as well as serving as emotional support to patients and their families.

The Impact

Due, in part, to nurses being pulled from the bedside to perform more administrative functions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the need for PCTs will grow by more than 18 percent over the next three years. This gift will afford team members who may be working in other areas of the network – such as environmental services or food and nutrition – an opportunity to grow in a career, while offering additional employment opportunities for our community. The programs will also provide employment opportunities for local community members with limited education who want to begin a career in health care.


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