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Field of Study: Psychiatric Technology


Psychiatric technology programs prepare people to assist mental health care professionals with patient care. These programs are sometimes called psychiatric technician programs.



Students learn to give medicine to patients. They learn to assist with treatment plans and perform clerical duties.

Psychiatric technology programs include topics such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing skills
  • Psychiatric care
  • Mental health theory and treatment
  • Patient communication and management
  • Medical recordkeeping
  • Patient care

Psychiatric technicians are people who help patients with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and emotional problems. They sometimes also help people with drug or alcohol addiction. They work with nurses, doctors, and social workers to make sure patients take their medicines correctly. They also help patients with daily skills such as bathing and dressing. In addition, psychiatric technicians help patients learn how to change their behavior so that they get along with others in social situations. They also run group meetings where patients talk about their problems. Usually psychiatric technicians work in hospitals, mental health clinics, day treatment centers, or nursing homes.

Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in psychiatric technology. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Very few colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in psychiatric technology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in psychiatric technology. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.