PCT Program Graduate’s New Career Path Provides Meaning and Pride

By on December 2, 2019
STLCC PCT program graduate, Elizabeth Moyneur

Elizabeth Moyneur had every reason to be especially proud when she graduated from STLCC’s patient care technician (PCT) accelerated training program in March 2019. Not only did she overcome the intimidation of entering a new field, but she also had to conquer her fears about learning in classroom, lab and clinical settings since all her prior education had come through homeschooling.

“This was huge for me,” she said. “I was homeschooled my whole life, never did the school experience. I got my GED last year to do this. It’s been such an amazing experience.”

Elizabeth was inspired to launch a healthcare career after she spent time caring for her sick mother five years ago and saw the critical role emotional support played in providing comfort for patients and their loved ones. She knew it was her calling to work not only with her hands, but her heart as well.

The passion to help others heal drove her to join STLCC’s PCT cohort being held in partnership with Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, the region’s only hospital specially designed to help children with medical complexities bridge from a traditional hospital to home.

Professional PCTs work in a hospital setting under direct nursing supervision to provide care for patients by checking temperatures and vital signs, ensuring comfort and cleanliness, assisting with patient mobility and monitoring the patient for changes in progress or demeanor. STLCC’s PCT students complete six weeks of classroom and lab instruction followed by three weeks of hands-on clinical practice guided by nursing assistants.

“I definitely learned a lot. The community college was a great experience for me,” she said. “It was really cool to see what I could do for myself. It was like, ‘Oh wow, I can do this. I can achieve anything that I really want to achieve. If I want something badly enough, it’s attainable.’ It makes me want to go further and do more.”

Elizabeth’s aptitude coupled with the compassionate service she demonstrated for her patients secured her an immediate position with the hospital post-graduation. Her success places her among good company: in 2019, the STLCC PCT program had a 95% job placement rate.

“This job makes me feel like I am making a difference.”

Now that Elizabeth has her first nine months as a PCT with Ranken Jordan under her belt, she can already see how much she has been personally impacted by this experience.

“It’s been good. Definitely a life change, that’s for sure,” she declared. “This job makes me feel like I am making a difference, I do have a purpose. I’m proud of my job. I’m proud to be able to say I work at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital.”

Before she entered the program, Elizabeth held a variety of jobs and spent eight years working in a factory. Her daily life looks a lot different now, primarily centered on helping the hospital staff treat kids with a broad range of needs. She also loves the opportunity she has to bond with the patients’ loved ones.

“It’s cool being able to talk to [parents] and show that you actually care about their children,” she said. “There’s a mom, I’ve worked with her a whole lot, and we’ve connected on a level where I can make sure she’s doing OK too and taking care of herself and not just running herself thin.”

As gratifying as it is to play such an essential role in a patient’s care, Elizabeth acknowledged that it’s important for a healthcare professional to pay attention to their own well-being, too.

“There are some hard days where it becomes draining and so you have to take care of yourself too otherwise you might get burnt out,” she shared. “You’re involved in a lot of tough things with different injuries and sicknesses…and it’s hard not to get somewhat emotionally involved. But in the same sense I know I’m where I’m supposed to be and I feel blessed to be able to be a part.”

“I feel like I can walk around with pride now.”

Elizabeth admits that being homeschooled in the past made it difficult for her to adapt to a classroom and hospital setting at first, but the program facilitators and coworkers helped her feel comfortable.

“I’d definitely recommend the program. The teachers were really great, and Ranken has been really supportive in helping me learn,” she said. “It’s been awesome, life-changing. I feel like I can walk around with pride now. Pride in what I’ve done, pride in what I do, and it’s a really great feeling.”

Her collaborations with the Ranken Jordan nurses have helped her grow, and she experiences a sense of mutual respect among staff members.

“It’s gotten to where it feels like home,” she said. “I feel like I’m connecting not only with the patients but also the nurses and building relationships where we can discuss the patients and figure out how to help them the best way we can.”

She even receives encouragement from her colleagues to take the next step in her career toward becoming a nurse.

“They’re like, “When are you going to be a nurse? When are you going back to school?” she said. “It’s encouraging that they see that ability in me. We’ve built a rapport, and a lot of them have become like family.”

“Having a heart for people is what’s important.”

Elizabeth believes that success in this line of work comes to those who know how to push through the challenges and remember they are there to help people get through difficult times.

“Most importantly, having a heart for people is what’s important because it’s not just a job. You are dealing with human beings who need care, who need love, and it’s not just a paycheck,” she said. “But if you have that passion for helping people, then [this job] is a really, really great way to have that experience.”

Are you ready to start a meaningful career in the healthcare industry? Check out stlcc.edu/pct for information about upcoming cohorts.

About Rebecca Rutherford

Rebecca Rutherford is Marketing Communications Coordinator of St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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