Psych Tech

  1. Hello!
    I'm starting nursing school this summer, and, like everyone else, hoping there will be a job with my name on it when I'm finished. Always been a dreamer
    Anyway, I may need a job while in school, and I'd like one that will benefit me in my career in the long run. My previous education is in psychology, and I'm interested in taking that to the nursing spectrum and possibly being a psych nurse.
    So, my question is, does anyone think being a psych tech is a good option? Do all psych techs need to be muscular men who can wrangle angry patients, or are there jobs for the not quite so physically intimidating? Is the scope of practice comparable to a CNA?
    Any advice would be awesome. Thanks!
  2. Visit Stephalump profile page

    About Stephalump, RN

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 2,773; Likes: 3,061
    Forensic Psych/Acute Rehab RN; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Forensic Psych


  3. by   PRNketamine7
    Hi there, I have experience as a psych tech... I worked at a small private psych hospital so I don't know how it would my experience compares to a larger hospital.I thought my experience was very helpful in school and when looking for a job. I do not want to do psych, but I still was able to tie it into everything and people found it impressive. You do not need to be a strong man to work as a psych tech I am a pretty average sized woman. I would say definitely go for the job, you'll know if psych nursing is something you want to do in the long run, and if it isn't the experience will help you get a job as a tech on a medical floor. Which is exactly what I did. Good luck.
  4. by   Dan McFeeley
    On both of the psychiatric units where I've worked, the majority of the psych techs tend to be women. Movies and tv may give the impression that the floor staff are big burly men, but in real life these kinds of psych techs are scarce. Generally, if a situation comes up on the floor where you need some muscle, you're going to call for security, or call a hospital code.

    Even if you're set on being a psychiatric nurse, it would be good to find places more solidly in the medical areas, such as being an ER tech. You'll need to polish your medical skills as much as possible, and places like the ER will give you that opportunity.

  5. by   Stephalump
    Thanks for the info! ER tech was actually my first choice, but I've yet to find a position in my area that doesn't require applicants to be EMTs. Still looking, though. I'm a CNA, but never worked after being certified. I had a hell of a time finding work outside of a nursing home, and I knew my first day of clinicals I wasn't cut out for that.
    So, considering all of my options, but they seem to be limited for now. I think I'll apply for the tech position and see what happens.
    Much appreciated!
  6. by   pinkiepie_RN
    I worked as a psych tech while in NS and I loved it. I'm a tiny little white girl and did just fine for myself. Most of my time was spent in the milieu with the patients observing behavior and interacting with the patients, sometimes running groups. I'd say that it's similar in scope to CNA in that I took VS, helped with admissions and discharges, etc. The only difference in scope was that I wasn't allowed to take FS because not all psych techs are CNAs, depending on where you work. I worked in a psych hospital and the only CNAs I know were GNAs that worked on the geriatric units.