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Staff Psychiatrist (Safety) (7619)

Staff Psychiatrist (Safety)

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: SF34
  • Class Code: 7619
  • Established: 08/01/2000
  • Revised: --
  • Title Changed: --


Under general directions, to perform responsible psychiatric work in a State developmental center or hospital or in a review, evaluation, or consultative capacity; and to do other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class is distinguished from the Staff Psychiatrist and the Staff Psychiatrist, Departments of Mental Health and Developmental Services, by the custody requirements imposed by the criminal nature of the forensic client, patient, or inmate population and the security features of the facility.

Job Characteristics

Employees in this class may work in any of the various State developmental centers or hospitals.


In an institution not having extensive psychiatric services, a Staff Psychiatrist (Safety) may be the only psychiatrist on the institution staff and provides all psychiatric services with assistance from other medical officers of the institution. Directions of a general nature may be received from a chief medical officer (typically, on matters of hospital policies and regulations), or administrative direction only may be received from the institution superintendent.


Staff Psychiatrists (Safety) working in institutions or clinics which provide extensive psychiatric services work under the general direction of a psychiatrist of a higher level.


Staff Psychiatrists (Safety) are responsible for making definitive diagnoses and decisions. They also may be assigned general medical work in addition to their psychiatric duties.


Staff Psychiatrist (Safety) is the entry and journey person level psychiatrist class in State service. Higher level psychiatrist classes involve either supervisory or training and teaching responsibilities.

Typical Tasks

In an institutional capacity, examines and diagnoses psychiatric forensic clients, patients, or inmates; determines type of psychiatric and general medical treatment needed; administers psychiatric treatment with assistance, as necessary, from nurses and technicians; performs general medical and surgical work; performs ward duties, such as giving medications and tube feeding; makes ward rounds and reviews progress of forensic clients, patients, or inmates; prescribes changes in treatment when indicated; consults, as necessary, with supervisory psychiatrist on unusual, complex, or serious cases, or presents such cases to a clinical conference for advice or decision; may instruct and supervise interns, residents, other physicians, nurses, technicians, and personnel assigned for special training; participates in staff conferences and clinics; keeps and supervises the keeping of medical records; provides relatives with information concerning forensic clients, patients, or inmates in person or by correspondence; performs research in psychiatry; serves periodically as officer-of-the-day; and observes and intervenes in instances of disruptive or assaultive behavior.


Assists staff in the counting, distribution, and accounting for all utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting facility to identify security breaches that could lead to forensic client, patient, or inmate escape; and observing and intervening in forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior that may signal an impending escape attempt.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of the legal requirements for the practice of medicine in California as determined by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance or the California Board of Osteopathic Examiners. (Applicants who are in the process of securing approval of their qualifications by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance or the California Board of Osteopathic Examiners will be admitted to the examination, but the Board to which application is made must determine that all legal requirements have been met before candidates will be eligible for appointment.) and One year of experience in the practice of psychiatry or completion of one year of an approved residency in psychiatry.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles and methods of psychiatry, general medicine, and surgery, and skill in their application; current developments in the field of psychiatry; mental hospital organization and procedures; principles and application of psychiatric social work, clinical psychology, physical therapy, various rehabilitation therapies, and other ancillary medical services; principles and techniques of psychiatric research; principles and practices of effective supervision and directing the work of others.


Ability to: Direct the work of others; instruct in the principles and practices of psychiatry; interpret laboratory analyses and x-rays; prepare and supervise the preparation of case histories and the keeping of hospital records; analyze situations accurately and take effective action.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work at developmental centers, State hospitals, or correctional facilities contracting with the Department of Mental Health for diagnostic and treatment services; demonstrated leadership ability; sympathetic and objective understanding of the problems of developmentally or mentally disordered offenders; tact; patience; and emotional stability.

Special Physical Characteristics

Incumbents must possess and maintain sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering their own health and well-being or that of their fellow employees, forensic clients, patients, inmates, or the public.

Drug Testing Requirements

Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug- screening test. (The drug-screening test will be waived for employees who are currently in a designated "sensitive" class for which drug testing is required under State Personnel Board Rule 213.)

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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