The Psychiatric Technician is a nursing category parallel to Licensed Vocational Nurse (California’s term for Licensed Practical Nurse).
Accredited psychiatric technology programs typically include classroom instruction, as well as hands-on experience under the direct supervision of an experienced instructor. The Psychiatric Technician educational program consists of at least 1,530 hours of classroom instruction in accredited schools plus hands-on clinical experience in state or community facilities under the direct supervision of an experienced instructor.
Courses include basic and psychiatric nursing, human development, personality structure, and the nature of mental illness. Students also take courses in nutrition, pharmacology, anatomy, developmental disabilities, personality and social development, physiology, and sociology. Clinical training generally takes place in state or community facilities such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, sheltered workshops, or substance abuse programs.
To help keep Psychiatric Technicians current with recent advances in their field, they must complete 30 hours of continuing education courses every two years in order to renew their licenses.
The American Association of Psychiatric Technicians (AAPT) also offers the title Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician (NCPT)