Psychiatric Technician

Psychiatric Technician AS Degree

The West Hills Community College Psychiatric Technician Program is an approved program by the California Board of Licensed Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians. This accelerated program is divided into three main content areas, nursing science, developmental disorders, and psychiatric nursing. Program participants will receive didactic and hands-on experiences to apply the nursing process in the planning and implementation of care for clients with a variety of special needs. Participants will be introduced to the professional psychiatric technician standards related to professionalism and safety and grow in the role of client advocate and sponsor. The Psychiatric Technician Training Program will prepare the student in a variety of health care settings. Upon completion of the Psychiatric Technician Training Program, students will receive a certificate or associate degree and qualify to take the licensure exam from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.

This is an intensive certificate/degree program. Classes will meet at the college, local hospitals, mental health facilities, Coalinga State Hospital, Porterville Developmental Center, and other approved facilities to accommodate the clinical aspects of instruction.

Upon completion of the psychiatric technician program, the student will be able to:

  • Calculate the correct medication dosages.
  • Discuss and demonstrate the importance of accurate communication and documentation in the various health care settings within their scope of practice.
  • Apply the nursing process to implement an appropriate plan of care for the client with medical, developmental disabilities and mental illness disorders.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of medical, developmental disabilities, and mental disorders

Students must fulfill the following requirements to qualify for an associate degree:

  • Complete the Associate Degree requirements
  • Complete major course requirements as specified in the catalog with a C or better
  • Complete electives to reach a total of 60 degree applicable units
  • Maintain a grade point average of 2.00 overall
  • Complete the English and math competency requirements with a C or better
Course # Title Units
Required Core Courses
PT 101 Psychiatric Technician Training Program Orientation 1.5
PT 050 Anatomy for Nurses 2
PT 051 Fundamentals of Nursing 5
PT 051L Fundamentals of Nursing Clinic 3
PT 052 Medical Surgical Nursing 4.5
PT 052L Medical Surgical Nursing Clinical 3
PT 081 Pharmacology 1 1
PT 060 Life Span for Nurses 2
PT 061 Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 5
PT 061L Introduction to Developmental Disabilities Clinical 3
PT 062 Developmental Disabilities 4.5
PT 062L Developmental Disabilities Nursing Clinical 3
PT 082 Pharmacology 2 1
PT 070 Psychology for Nurses 2
PT 071 Introduction to Mental Disorders 5
PT 071L Introduction to Mental Disorders Clinical 3
PT 072 Mental Disorders 4.5
PT 072L Mental Disorders Clinical 3
PT 083 Pharmacology 3 1
Total 57

Program Prerequisites, Corequisite or Advisory Courses

For Consideration of eligibility to the Psychiatric Technician Training Program, applicant must meet current admission criteria and all of the following:

  • HS 080 – Introduction to Medical Professionals
  • HS 088 – Medical Terminology for Health Careers
  • VNPT 090 – Math for Medical Professionals


Program Prerequisite Skills and/or Knowledge

  • Show proof of a current American Heart Association, Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers Certificate.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Show evidence of high school graduation or equivalent (GED or CHSPE).
  • Submit a complete application to West Hills College.
  • Submit a complete and current application to the West hills College Psychiatric Technician Training Program.
  • Be able to read, write and communicate at college level.
  • Complete and pass a physical, background check and drug screen.
  • In addition to the prerequisites, applicants are strongly advised to possess an active California certification as a nursing assistant.

Click here to see the recommended course sequence for the Psychiatric Technician AS Program Pathway. 

Psychiatric Technician Certificate of Achievement

Completion of the 57 units listed above fulfills the requirements for the Psychiatric Technician Certificate of Achievement.

Click here to see the recommended course sequence for the Psychiatric Technician Certificate Program Pathway.

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