Patient Care Specialist


The Patient Care Specialist program is currently under revision. Please call the Program Director for updated information.

AWARD OFFERED Short Certificate (2 Semesters) 

Program Interest Form

At a Glance
The Patient Care Specialist plays an important role in the lives of clients and their families. The Patient Care Specialist (PCS) also provides quality care to clients, works in a team environment and builds relationships with healthcare team members, clients and family members of clients.

As part of a professional team of clinicians, the PCS will be responsible for measuring and recording diagnostic information such as vital signs, intake and output, client observation, equipment setup and more.  They work under the supervision of nurses to provide safe, comfortable and hygienic treatment for the client.  They are often the specialists who have the most "one on one" time with the clients. Patient Care Specialists also understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration with other members of the healthcare team.  Patient Care Specialists work in hospitals, physician's offices and long term care facilities.

Mean annual earnings of certified nursing assistants were $24,890 in May 2013. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

The median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, was $52,070 in May 2012. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

Karen Walton, MSN, RN, BOOST Director

Program Description
The Patient Care Specialist (PCS) Program is a program developed as part of BOOST: Better Occupational Outcomes with Simulation Training - New Pathways to Healthcare Careers, to expand and improve the colleges' ability to deliver education and career training programs as well as improve student employability in the healthcare sector. Wallace State-Hanceville is one of two colleges selected for this program in the state of Alabama.

Students enrolled in this for-credit program will be able to complete two industry-recognized certifications within the two semesters. Additionally, students will complete the Alabama Career Readiness assessment examination. The foundation of the program consists of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) content which enables students to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Examination and be listed in the Alabama Nurse Aide Registry. Additional certification is earned as an Electrocardiography (ECG) Technician. At the conclusion of the program, students will be awarded a Patient Care Specialist Certification.

Specialized courses in Nursing, Medical Assistant, and Emergency Medical Services are included in this program of study and may be used for course credit. However, credit awarded will require approval by the corresponding Program Director. Completion of these courses under the Patient Care Specialist program does not indicate or guarantee acceptance into Nursing, Medical Assistant, or Emergency Medical Services programs of study.

Admission Requirements

Applicant Must:

  • Meet all the general admission requirements of WSCC.
  • Eligibility to enroll in ENG101 and MTH 116 as measured by COMPASS Testing. Placement testing can be scheduled through the Testing Center at 256.352.8053. Conditional admission may be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Possess a GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit a WSCC application to the Admissions Office. Applications will be accepted until June 1 for Fall admission. Applications received after June 1 will be considered on a space available basis.
  • Submit a program application to the Patient Care Specialist program director. Attach copies of high school transcripts or unofficial transcripts from other institutions attended.
  • All information must be included for the packet to be complete. Any missing information will result in the applicant not being considered for admission.

Selection and Notification
The Patient Care Specialist program admits a class each semester based on minimum course enrollment.

Students will be selected based on their completion of admission requirements and program application date. All other factors being equal, GPA will be the deciding factor for admission.

The BOOST Patient Care Specialist Program Director will review all applications for completion of admission requirements and will notify students accepted into the program.

Upon acceptance into the Patient Care Specialist program, the student must submit:

a. A clear background check by the school-approved vendor prior to registration. Any result other than clear will prohibit the student from enrolling.

b. To a drug screen by the school-approved vendor; date to be assigned by the Program Director. Any result other than clear will result in the student's dismissal from the program.

c. An annual WSCC physical examination, including proof of Hepatitis B and other vaccination status which meets clinical agency contract requirements.

d. Proof of health insurance.

The student must also contact the program director and arrange for an orientation meeting upon acceptance.

Program Expectations
Students admitted into the Patient Care Specialist program are expected to comply with the Health Science Program Regulations and Expectations as published in the Programs of Study section of the Wallace State College Catalog and the Patient Care Specialist Handbook

Required Competencies:
Clinical competencies (infection control, nursing assistant care and related skills, assist with specimen collection, diagnostic testing, restorative patient care)

General competencies (professional communication, legal/ethical concepts, patient instruction, operational functions)

Upon Full Admission:
Students are required to submit an annual WSCC physical examination, including proof of Hepatitis B and other vaccination status which meets clinical agency contract requirements.

Students are required to submit proof of current CPR certification which meets clinical agency requirements. Only CPR courses that provide certification for health-care providers will be accepted-Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or Health Care Provider (American Heart Association). Online certifications from other agencies will not be accepted.

Accident and liability insurance, available through the College, is required of all Patient Care Specialist students. Major Medical coverage is also required but is not available through the College. Each insurance policy must meet clinical agency contract requirements.

Students are required to undergo and clear Background Screening and Drug Testing according to Health Science Division Policy.

Students selected for admission in the Patient Care Specialist program must meet the following requirements:

Maintain a grade of "C" or higher in all general education and Patient Care Specialist courses and an "S" (Satisfactory) in the clinical component when appropriate.

Failure to do so will result in the student being ineligible to progress through the program. Students who withdraw from, or are dismissed from the program must re-apply prior to reentering the program. Students may apply for reentry into the program only once.

Career Path
The Patient Care Specialist curriculum prepares students to function as healthcare professionals in a variety of healthcare settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, and home health agencies. Graduates of the program may continue their education in various Health Science programs such as Nursing and Medical Assistant.

Mean annual earnings of certified nursing assistants (May 2013) were $24,890. The median annual wage for electrocardiography technicians, including vascular technologists, (May 2012) were $52,070. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).

Completion Requirements
Short Certificate Program

Major Required Courses

 CIS 146 Microcomputer Applications 3 
 EMS 100 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation 1 
 EMS 273 EKG Interpretation 2 
 ENG 101 English Composition I 3 
 HIT 110 Medical Terminology 3 
 MAT 102 Medical Assisting Theory I 3 
 MAT 103 Medical Assisting Theory II 3 
 NUR 102 Fundamentals of Nursing 6 
 WKO 101 Workplace Skills Development I 1 
 MTH 116 Mathematical Applications 3