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Series established December 15, 1987
This series specification describes three classes used by the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health, and at correctional facilities or psychiatric outpatient clinics in the Department of Corrections to maintain order and supervise the conduct of patients or inmates; to protect and maintain the safety of persons and property; to provide a basic level of general behavioral psychiatric nursing care to patients or inmates who are mentally disordered offenders; to participate in the overall psychiatric treatment program; and to do other related work.
This series of classes is distinguished from the classes in the Psychiatric Technician series by the custody requirements imposed by the criminal nature of the forensic client, patient, or inmate population and by the security features of correctional facilities, developmental centers, and State hospitals.
Custody tasks include escorting forensic clients, patients, or inmates in the facility and in the community; searching for drugs, contraband, and weapons; counting, distributing, and accounting for eating utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting forensic clients', patients', or inmates' mail for hazardous contraband; inspecting facilities to identify security breaches that could lead to the escape of a forensic client, patient, or inmate; observing and intervening in forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior that may injure people, damage property, or signal impending escape attempts.
Incumbents work with other disciplines as part of the treatment team to provide an overall treatment program for the forensic client, patient, or inmate. Tasks include performing nursing procedures such as administering medications, treatments including oral medications, hypodermic injections, and at developmental centers administering urinary catheterizations, enemas, and taking and charting temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration; observing forensic clients', patients', or inmates' physical condition and behavior and reporting significant changes to a unit supervisor or physician and recording nursing notes in the forensic clients', patients', or inmates' record; preparing and caring for forensic clients, patients, or inmates during treatment; giving first aid as needed; and participating as a member of the multidisciplinary team with the development of treatment plans and objectives from assessment of the forensic clients, patients, or inmates.
Incumbents may assist in the training of Psychiatric Technician Students, Psychiatric Technician Training Candidates, Psychiatric Technician Trainees, and other ancillary staff; help to create a clean, safe, and therapeutic environment for forensic clients, patients, or inmates; apply mental health principles in all relationships with forensic clients, patients, or inmates; develop, encourage participation in, and supervise on-the-unit group and individual program activities for forensic clients, patients, or inmates; assist rehabilitation therapists in occupational, recreational, vocational, and educational therapy programs for forensic clients, patients, or inmates; motivate forensic clients, patients, or inmates to develop self-reliance in daily living and assist them with activities of daily living such as feeding, habit training, and maintaining a well-groomed appearance; keep forensic clients, patients, or inmates and their beds, clothing, and living areas clean; follow safe work practices; protect forensic clients, patients, inmates, and others from personal injury; order supplies as needed; keep records; and participate in in-service training programs.
Independence of action, the extent of supervision received and/or exercised, level of administrative and supervisory responsibilities, and the security features of the facility.
This is a temporary classification; all appointments to this class are made for a period not to exceed nine months. Incumbents must have graduated from a training program for Psychiatric Technicians accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technician Examiner (BVNPTE) or must have been accepted by that Board to take the licensing examination. Incumbents must become licensed by the BVNPTE within nine months of the date of appointment or be terminated. Incumbents work under direct supervision to assist licensed staff in providing custody services and basic behavioral and psychiatric nursing care to the forensic clients, patients, or inmates.
This is the journey level in this series. Incumbents work under general supervision and, in addition to their custody responsibilities, provide a basic level of general behavioral and psychiatric nursing care and are expected through their attitude, knowledge, and performance to facilitate the rehabilitation of forensic clients, patients, or inmates. Incumbents may assist in the training of Psychiatric Technician Trainees and other ancillary staff.
This is the first supervisory level in the series. As shift supervisors, incumbents supervise, train, and evaluate a group of Psychiatric Technicians (Safety) engaged in custody activities and basic behavioral and nursing care, and other assigned staff. Incumbents may also be assigned to especially difficult or complex duties where the only supervision exercised is over forensic clients, patients, or inmates, such as directing or monitoring forensic client, patient, or inmate activities in a therapy program.
Completion of a Psychiatric Technician training program accredited by the BVNPTE. (Equivalent study and training may be substituted for the required accredited training if such study and training has been accepted by the BVNPTE as qualifying for the Psychiatric Technician licensing examination.)
Possession of a valid license to practice as a Psychiatric Technician issued by the BVNPTE. (Applicants who are within four months of completing the Psychiatric Technician curriculum accredited by the BVNPTE will be admitted to the examination, but they must secure this license before they will be eligible for appointment.)
Possession of a valid license to practice as a Psychiatric Technician issued by the BVNPTE. and One year of experience performing the duties of a Psychiatric Technician (Safety) or Psychiatric Technician in a California State hospital or developmental center.
Knowledge of: Custody procedures, and public and property protection policies; fundamentals of nursing care, general behavioral and psychiatric procedures, forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior and mental health principles and techniques involved in the care and treatment of individual or groups of developmentally or mentally disordered forensic clients, patients, or inmates; current first-aid methods; medical terminology; pharmacology; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Management Assaultive Behavior techniques; hospital procedures.
Ability to: Learn and apply sound judgment for situations including the protection of persons and property; apply basic nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes; establish effective therapeutic relationships with developmentally or mentally disordered forensic clients, patients, or inmates; recognize symptoms requiring medical or psychiatric attention; think and act quickly in emergencies; work with a treatment team to provide occupational, recreational, vocational, and educational therapy programs for forensic clients, patients, or inmates; follow directions; keep appropriate records; develop clear and concise reports of incidents; analyze situations accurately and take effective action.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and the techniques of effective supervision; a supervisor's role in equal employment opportunities.
Ability to: All of the above, and supervise the work and development of a group of nursing staff.
An interest and a willingness to work at developmental centers, State hospitals, and correctional facilities or psychiatric outpatient clinics in the Department of Corrections; understanding of the behavior of forensic clients', patients', or inmates' emotional stability; patience; tolerance; tact; alertness; neat personal appearance; and hearing and vision required for successful job performance.
Possession and maintenance of sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering the health and well being of the incumbent, fellow employees, forensic clients, patients, inmates, or the public.
Applicants for positions in these classes are required to pass a drug-screening test. Testing of current employees who are applicants in an examination or who are transferring is permitted only if the person does not have a current appointment to a class for which drug testing is a requirement.