Patient Care Technician vs CNA

What Is the Difference Between a Patient Care Technician and a CNA?


Patient care technicians and certified nurse assistants are important members of a health-care team. They provide care services that directly affect a patient’s comfort and support other health-care professionals. Both positions share many similar duties, but there are some differences. The regulations in each state determine the extent of the responsibilities for each role.


CNAs perform basic patient-care duties under the supervision of a registered nurse or medical doctor. These include tasks such as bathing, feeding and dressing the patient and taking vital signs. Patient-care technicians also assist nurses, doctors, and other health-care professionals. They perform the duties of a CNA but are also trained to perform some basic medical duties, such as EKG readings and phlebotomy (drawing blood). The laws of each state determine the extent of responsibility for technician practice.