The average psychiatric technician program
in California lasts for one year, but there are also more lengthy programs for higher levels of certification. To begin a psychiatric tech program, there are several prerequisites that a student must fulfill. Psychiatric school
students must be 18 years old, for starters, and they must be prepared to submit proof of graduation from high school, or equivalent. Many schools also require that their students pass a background check, submit fingerprints, undergo drug screening, and take a physical exam. Many students still work while they are completing a psychiatric technician program in California, although it is best not to work more than 20 hours per week to be able to concentrate on one’s studies.
The best places to work while completing a psychiatric tech program are healthcare facilities that will help build a resume to apply for mental health jobs. It can be very helpful to work as a receptionist or porter at a mental health facility while attending psychiatric school. These types of jobs prepare students for the atmosphere and daily goings-on of their future careers.
During psychiatric school, students can expect to learn a variety of duties that they will be responsible for in their future careers. After completing a psychiatric technician program in California, graduates should be prepared to: Deliver charts to scheduled appointments
- Help to physically contain combative patients
- Help patients care for themselves, including feeding and grooming
- Inspect patient areas for cleanliness and safety
- Interact with patients by playing cards, games and other social dealings
- Perform CPR, Heimlich maneuver and other vital services
- Take vital signs and document the results.
An accredited psychiatric tech program should include classroom time as well as hands-on clinical experience with an experienced instructor. Psychiatric school should prepare students to work in a variety of mental health settings, once they have passed their licensing exams after graduation. A psychiatric technician program in California can be used to find work in state hospitals, county facilities, private institutions, community psychiatric centers and addiction treatment centers.