St. Joseph’s/Candler and Savannah Tech Create New, Innovative Apprentice Programs

Dr Love at podium with PCTs in blue scrubsSt. Joseph’s/Candler and Savannah Technical College have created two innovative programs to give employment, a full-time salary and free tuition while quickly developing students into healthcare professionals.

The two accelerated apprentice programs will give students the opportunity to obtain Certified Nurse Aide or Patient Care Technician certifications while going to school and working shifts at St. Joseph’s/Candler.

“This is a great example of how we can come together to creatively address workforce development, create new jobs and meet the healthcare needs of our community,” said Paul P. Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler. “Not only will these students earn a great wage, full-time benefits and practical, on-the-job training, but they will have their tuition covered while they go to Savannah Technical College, which is known for producing highly-skilled students ready for the workforce.”

“We know there is tremendous demand for healthcare workers, and we are excited to partner with St. Joseph’s/Candler to offer this accelerated healthcare training,” said Savannah Technical College President Dr. Kathy Love. “Thus far, our apprenticeship programs have centered around the manufacturing sector. We are pleased to see those opportunities for students expanded to our Certified Nurse Aide and Patient Care Technician training.”


How it works

Potential students will apply for a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and Patient Care Technician (PCT) position at St. Joseph’s/Candler and at Savannah Tech simultaneously.

Students will work part-time at St. Joseph’s/Candler and attend classes part-time at Savannah Technical College while earning a full-time salary for the duration of the program. St. Joseph’s/Candler will pay for tuition and fees for the Nurse Aide Accelerated program at Savannah Tech and a state program covers fees for the PCT program. 

The Nurse Aide Accelerated program is eight-weeks long and the PCT program is 18-weeks long. For  details, please visit


What does a CNA do?

Certified Nurse Aides are an important position in any healthcare setting, with many responsibilities that make them integral to patient care. CNAs help patients with direct healthcare needs, often under the supervision of a nurse. They perform critical, sometimes physical and complex, tasks that ensure patients are well-cared for and safe during their hospital stay. Specific tasks vary, but you may help patients with:

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Answer calls for help
  • Deliver messages
  • Serve meals
  • Make beds
  • Help tidy up rooms

Being a CNA is a great stepping stone to other healthcare professions, especially nursing. Becoming a CNA will not only teach students how to interact with patients, but it also will introduce them to the healthcare field so that they can determine if healthcare is the right career choice. CNA is the first step toward PCT. 


What does a PCT do?

Patient Care Technicians also work directly with patients, taking care of basic needs, such as feeding and hygiene. However, different than CNAs, PCTs have more training that allows them to complete other tasks as well. PCTs help patients with procedures such as:

  • Taking vital signs
  • Performing glucose testing
  • Blood draws
  • Other needs under the direction and supervision of a doctor or registered nurse

For more details and to apply, go to

#2240 | March 30, 2022

St. Joseph’s/Candler: Scott M. Larson
PR and Digital Manager
912-596-5084 or

Health Sciences Advisor: Cindy Cole
912.443.5721 or

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (