Exam Bulletin - Senior Psychiatric Technician (Safety)

Department of State Hospitals

Multiple Testing Departments. Please see list of Departments.

Exam Code: EX-1294

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

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Classification Details

SENIOR PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIAN (SAFETY): $4,439.00 - $8,560.00 per Month

View the SENIOR PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIAN (SAFETY) classification specification.

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):


For SENIOR PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIAN (SAFETY), once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01294

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

The following items must be submitted with your Examination/Employment Application form. Failure to submit these items may result in rejection of your application.

  • License - Psychiatric Technician License

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted into the examination. Part-time or full-time jobs, regardless of whether paid or volunteer positions, and inside or outside California state service will count toward experience.


Possession of a valid license to practice as a Psychiatric Technician issued by the California Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technician Examiner (BVNPTE).




One year of experience performing the duties of a Psychiatric Technician (Safety) or Psychiatric Technician in a California State hospital or developmental center.

Psychiatric Technician (Safety) Series - CalHR

Drug Testing Requirement

Position Description


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.

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.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following components:

  • Online Exam : A passing score must be achieved and is weighted 100% of the final score.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

In addition to evaluating applicants’ relative knowledge, skills, and ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education and/or experience, emphasis in each exam component will be measuring competitively, relative job demands, each applicant’s:


Knowledge of:

  1. Custody procedures and public and property protection policies.
  2. 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.
  3. Current first-aid methods.
  4. Medical terminology.
  5. Pharmacology.
  6. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  7. Management Assaultive Behavior techniques.
  8. Hospital procedures.
  9. Techniques of effective supervision.
  10. A supervisor's role in equal employment opportunities.

Ability to:

  1. Learn and apply sound judgment for situations including the protection of persons and property.
  2. Apply basic nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  3. Establish effective therapeutic relationships with developmentally or mentally disordered forensic clients, patients, or inmates.
  4. Recognize symptoms requiring medical or psychiatric attention.
  5. Think and act quickly in emergencies.
  6. Work with a treatment team to provide occupational, recreational, vocational, and educational therapy programs for forensic clients, patients, or inmates.
  7. Follow directions.
  8. Keep appropriate records.
  9. Develop clear and concise reports of incidents.
  10. Analyze situations accurately and take effective action.
  11. Supervise the work and development of a group of nursing staff.

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the SENIOR PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIAN (SAFETY) Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Senior Psychiatric Technician (Safety) Training and Experience Examination Preview

Rate your knowledge performing specific job-related tasks, knowlege skill or ability.


  1. Monitor the safety and security of on/off-the-unit areas and on grounds to prevent incidents
  2. Complete routine rounds (i.e., identify patient needs, complete the change of shift process, etc.) to ensure patients and staff are safe and responsive.
  3. Actively support a safe and hazard-free workplace by following safe work practices to ensure the safety and security of self, staff, and patients.
  4. Foster a unit culture to emphasize humane attitudes and non-violence.
  5. Help to create a clean, safe and therapeutic environment for forensic clients, patients, or inmates to maintain their mental and physical stability and help them function in the facility environment.
  6. Observe and document patient’s status, symptoms, and progress to provide medical staff with current information about the patient.
  7. Review daily unit operations to ensure they are in full compliance to with laws, regulations, policies, standards, etc.
  8. Monitor patients' movement e.g., escorting patients to and from medical appointments, group sessions, meals, and visits) to ensure the safety and security.
  9. Provide training to new staff and/or interns to ensure continuity and security of patient care.
  10. Perform nursing procedures (i.e., taking temperature, pulse, blood pressure, vital signs).
  11. Assist medical staff to treat, habilitate/rehabilitate, and return patients to the community.
  12. Apply mental health principles in all relationships with patients to provide optimal treatment as required.
  13. Monitor patient behavior and interactions during therapeutic sessions to assist with proper treatment and document observations in patient’s health record/chart.
  14. Keep records and prepare reports in order to meet and comply with regulations.
  15. Review nursing documentation schedule on a routine basis (daily, weekly or monthly) to ensure that documents are completed in a timely order.
  16. Collaborate with treatment teams in order to develop treatment programs for patients.
  17. Assist and perform medical treatments (e.g., first aid, applying ointments, etc.) to prevent infection and promote healing and reduce pain.
  18. Participate in in-service training programs to improve the quality of services.
  19. Conduct routine inspections of patients’ bedding, clothing, and living areas to maintain safety and security.
  20. Cooperate with Unit Supervisor and unit housekeeper to maintain a clean and normalized environment.
  21. Develop, encourage participation in, and supervise on-the-unit group and individual program activities for patients to enhance interpersonal skills or develop social relationships.
  22. Motivate and assist patients with activities of daily living such as feeding, habit training, and maintaining a well-groomed appearance to develop self-reliance.
  23. Collaborate with unit shift leads to maintain inventory and supplies.


  1. Knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to respond to emergency situations.
  2. Knowledge of fundamentals of nursing care, (i.e., general behavioral and psychiatric procedures, patient behavior, mental health principles and techniques, etc.) to ensure continuity of care and safety and security.
  3. Knowledge of self-defense techniques (e.g., Therapeutic Strategic Intervention (TSI)) to protect yourself and others against an assaultive patient.
  4. Knowledge of pharmacology necessary for the delivery of nursing care to meet the medical and psychological needs of the patients.
  5. Knowledge of medical terminology to note and transcribe Physician’s orders and document entries in patient’s health record/chart.
  6. Knowledge of current first aid methods (e.g., bandaging, cleaning basic wounds, etc.) to provide first aid to patients.
  7. Knowledge of patient escort procedures and public and property protection policies to ensure safety and security of self, staff, and patients.
  8. Knowledge of medical terminology to facilitate communication between health care professionals and provide adequate documentation (i.e., procedures, signs, symptoms, etc.)
  9. Ability to think and act quickly in emergencies to ensure security and the safety of self, staff and patients.
  10. Ability to apply sound judgment for situations (think and act quickly in emergencies, including the protection of persons and property) to ensure security and the safety of self, staff and patients in a forensic setting.

Testing Departments

  • Department of State Hospitals
  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

Department of State Hospitals
Adam Brown
Department of State Hospitals - Sacramento
Human Resources Office
1215 O Street, MS 17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-8832

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Department of State Hospitals reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)