What is a Psych-Tech? - page 2

Started my psych rotation yesterday and the home we were assigned to was staffed by one RN and six Psych-Techs. The staff seemed very unprofessional and untheraputic towards how it treated its... Read More

  1. by   alexne01
    I am currently starting my career as a Psych Tech for a psych unit at OSU. I was a case mgr for a local MH agency for 1 year and have an Assoc. of Applied Science. My goal is to move to CA in a few years, hopefully finding employemnt as a Psych Tech in the area. Do I have to "start all over again" in order to become a licensed Psych Tech, or will my experience at OSU and education be enough to get accepted in a CA certified program?
  2. by   Apoetess
    I am not sure. Try this website below. You will find many useful links as well as contact numbers for our state licensing board. Private facilities are an option, but they do not pay as well as the state. We are finally growing our workforce in the prisons and Coalinga State Hospital is hiring like crazy right now, but it is an all sex offender hospital. The pay is excellent. With all the available overtime techs are making close to and even over $100,000 a year....there are many opportunities here in CA as a LPT so even if you have to jump through a few hoops to get licensed here, it is well worth it. GOOD LUCK...!!!!!

    http://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/license_verification.shtml
  3. by   alexne01
    Thanks for the information. I hope the hiring trend continues for the next few years. I will for sure keep my options open. Thanks again??
  4. by   caliotter3
    Quote from alexne01
    I am currently starting my career as a Psych Tech for a psych unit at OSU. I was a case mgr for a local MH agency for 1 year and have an Assoc. of Applied Science. My goal is to move to CA in a few years, hopefully finding employemnt as a Psych Tech in the area. Do I have to "start all over again" in order to become a licensed Psych Tech, or will my experience at OSU and education be enough to get accepted in a CA certified program?
    I would contact the BVNPT and inquire as to your ability to become licensed without going to a CA program. As for being accepted into a CA psych tech program, you will be very well qualified to be admitted. Mission College in Mountain View CA has a very good psych tech program. You might be able to get your CA credentials by only repeating one or two semesters of the three semester program.
  5. by   Al.ginger
    One of my class mates is psyc tech in the hospital. SHe works nights. As for education, she has a CNA certificate. All she talks about is restrains, and how to protect yourself from combative pt. Weird... I don;t wanna even go to psyc rotation after her stories
  6. by   mangopeach
    Quote from Al.ginger
    One of my class mates is psyc tech in the hospital. SHe works nights. As for education, she has a CNA certificate. All she talks about is restrains, and how to protect yourself from combative pt. Weird... I don;t wanna even go to psyc rotation after her stories
    Please don't go into your psych rotation being scared. I just completed my psych rotation & it was the best by far. I learned so much. I already knew I wanted to be a psych nurse and this just solidified it. Everyone else in my group was scared in the beginning. They had heard all these horror stories but they were all surprised to find that much of what they heard was more hype than reality. True, you always have to be aware of your surroundings & you will be told things like never turn your back to a patient and keep an arms length distance but its not as bad as you probably think. Yes at times a patient may need to be put in restraints but the least restrictive methods are used first. During my rotation, I never saw anyone put in restraints. Someone did go to the seclusion room though. Not trying to say that patients don't get combative but its usually not as bad as many students think going in. At least that's the conclusion most of the people in my class came to.

    I was at a State Mental Hospital & they get the worst of the worst & I truly enjoyed interacting with the patients. Remember that psych patients are not just in Psych hospitals or on Psych floors. Almost half my med surg patients had psych issues & one became very agitated while I was taking care of her.Psych patients have health issues, they have babies. You can almost guarantee that you will come across more than a few psych patients as a nurse. Didn't mean to take the thread off track, just wanted to say keep an open mind.

    I think Psych tech may mean different things at different institutions. The techs at my clinical site did not give meds.
    Last edit by mangopeach on Dec 10, '11
  7. by   Apoetess
    PT's not passing meds? That's unusual. Where are you located?
  8. by   Apoetess
    Quote from Al.ginger
    One of my class mates is psyc tech in the hospital. SHe works nights. As for education, she has a CNA certificate. All she talks about is restrains, and how to protect yourself from combative pt. Weird... I don;t wanna even go to psyc rotation after her stories
    Then she is just an aide not a LPT. I am surprised by all the posts here about PT's in other states besides CA...they're not licensed, haven't taken any sort of boards, have CNA certs and use the same title it took me 18 months and a state board exam to put as my title...quite annoying. I believe the term for them is Psych Aide...
  9. by   mangopeach
    Quote from Apoetess
    PT's not passing meds? That's unusual. Where are you located?
    I'm in GA. I don't know about other hospitals in GA,but at my clinical site, only RNs & LPNs gave meds.
  10. by   nashgirl516
    I'm going into my last year of nursing school, but I have actually been a Psychiatric Associate for the past seven years. (Note: my position used to be called "Psychiatric Technician" and many people still just use the short-hand "tech".) I work at a major University hospital with 200 in-patient beds across 12 Mental Health units. 11 of our 12 units are secure (locked), despite the fact that I'd say 80% of our adult patients are voluntary.

    As for what the position entails: it really depends upon the location and the particular unit/patient population. I work in the float pool, so I get to work with all different types (child/adolescent, adults, seniors, chemical dependency, acute and sub-acute).

    In general, the position is part "orderly", part CNA and part counselor. The main function is to preserve patient safety (by any means necessary). This involves checking on the patients at regular intervals, as well as doing searches (both of clothing & rooms), deescalation ("talking down"), sitting on "constant observation" patients and doing physical restraints. The other functions include assisting with ADLs/meals, admits/discharges, doing vital signs, running groups, doing 1:1s/talking with patients and just being available for ANY non-medication-related patient needs.

    If you have any particular questions, feel free to ask!
  11. by   nashgirl516
    ALSO: Psych Associates at my work require a BA/BS in a social or medical field. However, since they are NOT (always) trained/certified as CNA or LPNs, they do NOT give out meds or perform blood sugar checks, etc. However, the RNs generally listen to the Psych Techs as to what meds (or other actions) might need to be given/done when, since the Psych Techs are the ones working with the patients most closely 24/7.

    I got a LOT of training before I started my position (two weeks full-time class time, then four more weeks on-the-job training), but wasn't required to get a CNA or anything other than my CPR/First Aid. We also get one full day of training each year.
  12. by   Apoetess
    Quote from mangopeach
    I'm in GA. I don't know about other hospitals in GA,but at my clinical site, only RNs & LPNs gave meds.
    I figured it wasn't here in CA. We are licensed and able to pass meds, chart etc. basically the only thig and R.N. can do that we can't is start an IV ad push IV meds.
  13. by   starmickey03
    When I had my Psych rotation, the techs pretty much just made sure everything was run smoothly on the unit (i.e. making sure pts were safe). They needed no license or certificate; no formal training involved.

    The LPN passed meds and checked vital signs while the RN mostly did an EXTENSIVE amount of charting.

close