Psychiatric Technician

West Hills’ Psychiatric Technician program aims to prepare students for employment in state hospitals or rehabilitation and treatment centers. Students will learn basic nursing skills and psychiatric principles in order to interact with and care for individuals.

The program will also provide you with the foundational knowledge and skill sets needed to administer medications, conduct relationship development and participate in group therapy. Upon completion, you will be eligible to take the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technician license exam. West Hills College Coalinga offers an Associate Degree or Certificate of Achievement our Physchiatric Technician program.

The California State Departments of Mental Health, Developmental Services and Corrections as well as private and county psychiatric facilities are a few of the agencies which employ licensed Psychiatric Technicians.

  • The California State Departments of Mental Health, Developmental Services and Corrections as well as private and county psychiatric facilities are a few of the agencies which employ licensed Psychiatric Technicians.

    On July 1, 2005 the construction of Coalinga State Hospital was completed and turned over to the Department of Mental Health. The new state-of-the-art facility is staffed with more than 750 staff members and it is anticipating hiring an additional 1250 positions in order to achieve full staffing. These positions include multiple professionals including medical, psychiatric technicians, nursing and hospital police officer staff to work in the facility.

    Coalinga State Hospital is a multidisciplinary mental health facility that delivers psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery-oriented inpatient services to a population comprised of civilly committed sex offenders and acutely mentally ill prisoners. Hospital professionals assist in the development and implementation of new and innovative programs for the treatment of this unique population. This multi-modal treatment program is designed to assist participants in developing skills and behaviors for managing their deviant behavior and for reducing their risk of re-offending.

    West Hills College offers two unique training programs for people seeking employment with a State Hospital – Hospital Peace Officer Training Academy and Psychiatric Technician. The Hospital Peace Officer Training Academy (AOJ 56) is a four (4) month course in hospital peace officer training as determined by the California Department of Mental Health and the California Penal Code. The Psychiatric Technician program is a one year, three (3) semester training program that prepares people for employment and to take the state exam for Psychiatric Technicians.

    For more information regarding the Coalinga State Hospital please visit their website http://www.dsh.ca.gov/coalinga/

    For a complete listing of California State Jobs visit the State Personal Board website. The website is a good starting point for finding vacant positions, exam bulletins, job specifications and pay for each classification.

    • Supervise individual and group activities
    • Observe and influence patient behavior
    • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams
    • Encourage patients to develop work skills, social relationships and participate in recreational activities
    • Teach, counsel, and write reports describing physical and emotional symptoms
    • Provide routine and emergency nursing care
    • Establish effective therapeutic relationships with patients
    • Recognize symptoms requiring medical or psychiatric attention
    • Provide individual and group therapy
    • Work with the treatment team to provide occupational, recreational,
    • Think and act quickly in an emergency
    • Develop clear and concise reports of incidents
    • Analyze situations accurately and take effective action
    • Administer medications and treatments
    • Assist the unit physician with “sick call”
  • The Psychiatric Technician program is now a year long vocational program with admission starting in August as well as December of each academic year.  First- Third semester you will attend theory/academic classes. Theory classes are held 2 (8 hour) days a week at the Coalinga campus. They are generally held from 7:30am – 3:30pm. Additionally, clinical assignments are held two (10.5 hour) days a week. Hours and locations will vary. Please be prepared to drive all over the Central Valley as well as the Central Coast.

    You are required to attend every class and every clinical assignment. Excessive absences may result in dismissal from the program.

    The Psychiatric Technician Training Program operates on three, 16-week semesters. Each term has a specific focus of study. 

  • Applications are good for 1 year.

    APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

    1. Apply to West Hills College Coalinga
    2. Submit a completed Psychiatric Technician application packet (incomplete applications will not be considered)
    3. You must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application submittal 

    4. Copy of current Driver's License or I.D. Card

    5. Copy of Social Security Card

    6. Copy of High School Diploma or GED (College Degree will not be used in place of High School Diploma or GED)

    7. Copy of Student Profile from WHCC Student Portal

    8. Completed FAFSA on File at the Financial Aid Office at West Hills College. Yes, even if you don't feel that you will qualify, you must fill out the FASFA documents!

    9. Un-Official Transcripts reflecting all courses taken at West Hills (un-official transcripts will only be accepted if the courses were completed at WHCC)

    10. One Official Transcript from all other colleges attended, even if it was one course and you didn't complete it. (On file will not count) 

    • Application must be filled out COMPLETELY or it will be marked as INC. and you will need to re-apply.  

    Application Packet Submittal Deadline:

    Application period for January 2018 Cohort- TBD

    Application Period for August 2017 Cohort- Closed as of 6/1/17 (noon)

    CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS:

    Health Careers -West Hills Community College 
    300 Cherry Lane 
    Coalinga, CA 93210

    All submissions must be delivered to the Health Careers Office (Building L) or the Workforce Office (Building A) at 300 Cherry Lane or mailed with delivery confirmation.

    All submissions must be in the health careers office by the deadline regardless of postmark or special delivery. Please allow plenty of time for proper delivery.

  • PRE-REQUISITES:

    • Math 100 (West Hills Course) - 3 Units. "C" or better

    • English 51A (West Hills Course) - 3 Units, "C" or better

    • WE DO NOT ACCEPT CLASSES THAT ARE IN PROGRESS. COURSES NEED TO BE COMPLETED AND REFLECTED ON TRANSCRIPTS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR EVALUATION, AS PART OF THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.

    PLACEMENT TESTS :

    Placement Test Scores will be accepted in place of pre-requisites. Must place into the following courses:

    • Math 61 or Math 63 (West Hills Course)

    • English 1A or 51B (West Hills Course )

    • PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST IF YOU ALREADY MEET THE MATH AND ENGLISH PRE-REQS.

    FOREIGN TRANSCRIPTS:

    All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited evaluation service. A list of services can be obtained in the Instruction Packet. Foreign High School and College transcripts must be evaluated. College Degree of any kind will not be used for proof of High School or GED completion.

  • Students will be selected from the application pool by lottery, as governed by the Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT)

    Veteran Status Eligibility is still in effect. All Veterans will not go through lottery. DD214 is REQUIRED for eligibility, and must state "Honorable Discharge"

    Once your application packet is submitted, you will be sent an application confirmation email 1-3 weeks after the submission deadline.  You will also be notified of acceptance in our program via email.   

  • Applicants should contact the West Hills College Coalinga Financial Aid Office regarding the many grants, scholarships, and funding sources available to our students.

    The Workforce Development office located at your county social services office is an additional resource to consider when thinking about funding your education.   West Hills College Coalinga has a Workforce Connection Office on our campus, located in building A. Contact them at (559) 934-2423. They service Fresno County. If you are in Kings County you call the Job Training Office at (559) 585-3532.

View Frequently Asked Questions

Psychiatric Technician Program Steps to Apply

1
Apply for Admission
Before you can apply for the West Hills College Coalinga Psychiatric Technician Program, you must first apply to West Hills College Coalinga. 
Apply to West Hills College Coalinga
2
Complete Application Packet
After you apply to West Hills College Coalinga, you must complete the Psychiatric Technician Program packet. 
Download and Application Packet

The Application period for the West Hills College Coalinga Psychiatric Technician Program is closed.  Applications were accepted 10/6/2017 - 11/3/2017

Applications are not accepted early. Submit your completed Psychiatric Technician Program  Application Packet to the Health Careers Office located at 300 Cherry Lane, Coalinga, CA 93210 Building L.  If the Health Careers Office is closed you can drop your completed application off at the Workforce Office in building A.

Once your application packet is submitted, you will be sent an application confirmation email 1-3 weeks after the submission deadline.  You will also be notified of acceptance in our program via email.   

Please check our program page for updates. 

Apply

Degree Options

Choose from an Associate of Arts (AA), an Associate of Science (AS) degree or Certificate of Achievement within our Psychiatric Technician program. AA and AS degrees are designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university, while all certificates are non-transferable.

Students who complete the program with either degree or certificate are eligible to take the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technician license exam.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
See all FAQs
  • The starting monthly wage of a Psychiatric Technician is $3560.00 to $4905.00 depending on the employer.
  • BVNPT is the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT)

    2535 Capitol Oaks Dr. Suite 205 Sacramento, CA 95833 | (916)263-7800

  • If you have been convicted of assault, fraud, chemical dependencies or are on probation when you enter the program, you should reconsider applying for the Psychiatric Technician Program. You cannot complete the clinical hours necessary for licensure with these types of convictions. All applicants will be required to pass a background check, which could include fingerprinting upon being accepted into the program. If you accept a position in the program and do have a record of conviction as listed above, you could be asked to leave the program. If you have concerns about your background you can visit:http://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/licensees/enforcement_faq.shtml

  • * Coalinga Regional

    * Ralph Neate Long Term Care

    * Coalinga State Hospital

    * Corcoran District Hospital

    * Local Schools

    * Atascadero State Hospital

    * Porterville Development Center

  • Approximate cost of tuition, books, supplies and uniforms: $4,700.00 entire program.
  • Classes begin every August and January.
  • Applicants should contact the West Hills College Coalinga Financial Aid Office regarding the many grants, scholarships, and funding sources available to our students. The Workforce Development office located at your county social services office is an additional resource to consider when thinking about funding your education. West Hills College Coalinga has a Workforce Connection Office on our campus, located in building A. Contact them at (559) 934-2423. They service Fresno County. If you are in Kings County you call the Job Training Office at (559) 585-3532.

  • Two 8 hour days of theory-based lecture per week Skills lab practice and skills check off two days of clinical at various facilities around your community - a wide area- students rotate through the clinical assignments and facilities. These days are 10.5 hours each.
  • The past 5 years pass rates for our program can be found here.

  • The 1-year program consists of three semesters with content areas in nursing science, psychiatric nursing and care of persons with developmental disabilities.
  • * Students must be 18 years of age

    * Applicants must be a registered student at West Hills College

    * Must provide a copy of "student profile page" from West Hills College Portal

    * Must have a high school diploma or GED (We do not accept ANY foreign High School and or College transcripts. They must be evaluated by an approved Transcript Evaluation and Translation Service. Please see "Informational Packet" for approved places or check with Student Services (559) 934-2300.

    * Current Driver's License or I.D. Card

    *Social Security Card

  • Yes, there are projected to be job openings at Coalinga State Hospital, the new Mental Health Hospital in Stockton and various locations throughout the Central Valley.
  • Theory: 7:30AM to 3:30PM on campus

    Skills lab - on campus

    Clinical: 6:30AM to 5:30PM

    Dates and times vary while in the program

  • * NO IN-PROGRESS CLASSES.

    * Courses must be reflected on transcripts with a grade.

    * Math 101 (3 units - "C" or better)

    * English 51A (3 units - "C" or better)

    * Placement test scores (If Pre-requisites have not been met)

    ***Math 61 or 63

    ***English 1A

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