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Psychiatric Technician - Behavioral Health Crisis Team

at Ventura County

Pay: $28.8838 to $31.089/hour
$28.8838 - $31.089
Posted: 9/29/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 2569963

Job Description

Overall Job Objective


Under general direction of the program Clinic Administrator, performs a wide variety of paraprofessional activities on a 24/7 basis; responsible for the delivery of direct and indirect mental health services, either in an office (by telephone) or in the field (mobile unit, outpatient services) including immediate crisis evaluation and intervention to individuals who are experiencing a mental health emergency or urgent mental health situation.

Distinguishing Characteristics: The duties and responsibilities of the Crisis Team staff require a broad personal and professional skill sets.  In addition to possessing the stamina and disposition which high intensity crisis work demands. They also operate as "Behavioral Health ambassadors." With high public visibility, and under the scrutiny of multiple systems, their work performance involves extensive and comprehensive service provision demands and conditions which are unique within the Behavioral Health system.

This class differs from the Psychiatric Technician – IPU, the Hospital Technician I and the Health Technician series in that a Psychiatric Technician-BH Crisis Team is a member of a mobile unit responding to community crisis calls. The Psychiatric Technician-BH Crisis Team provides mental health services to clients within the scope of licensure of a Psychiatric Technician or Vocational Nurse in the state of California. Duties are performed in a Crisis Team office or in the field.  The Crisis Team operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year, and all Crisis Team staff must be willing to accept an assignment to work any shift (days, evenings, overnights, as well as weekends and holidays) at any Crisis Team office location.

PAYROLL TITLE:  Psychiatric Technician - IPU

CERTIFICATION PAY:  Incumbents in this classification are eligible for certification pay at a rate of $0.813 per hour based on his or her scheduled work week hours and not to exceed the scheduled work week hours for each qualified certification possessed up to a maximum of five (5) certifications.

EDUCATIONAL INCENTIVE:  Some positions may be eligible for educational incentive.  This incentive may be 2.5%, 3.5%, or 5% for incumbents in eligible positions based on completion of an Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's degree that is not required for the classification.

BILINGUAL INCENTIVE:   Some positions may be eligible for bilingual incentive depending on the applicable memorandum of agreement and the needs of the department.  In order to qualify for this incentive, incumbents in eligible positions must take and pass the applicable bilingual fluency exam.

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT:  Health Care Agency - Behavioral Health

Psychiatric Technician - IPU, is represented by the California Nurses' Association (CNA) and are eligible for overtime compensation.

NOTE:  Salary placement will be determined according to the current CNA memorandum of agreement.

The eligible list established from this recruitment may be used to fill current and future Regular (including Temporary and Fixed-Term), Intermittent (Per Diem), and Extra-Help vacancies.  There are currently two (2) Regular vacancies and one (1) Temporary vacancy.

OPENING DATE:  September 18, 2019
CLOSING DATE:  Continuous and may close at any time; therefore, the schedule for the remainder of the process will depend upon when we receive a sufficient number of qualified applications to meet business needs. 

Examples Of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

Direct Services

  • Provides crisis intervention services to individuals of all ages in the community and emergency rooms experiencing an urgent or emergency mental health situation, utilizing culturally-sensitive, client/family-centered, strength-based, wellness and recovery models of service delivery.  Services are provided via telephone and/or in person at locations throughout all of Ventura County;
  • Provides 5150/5585 evaluations and writes involuntary holds as appropriate;   
  • Engages in collaborative, independent clinical contact with a broad variety of clinical presentations, on a wide continuum of: (a) type and range of diagnostic categories; (b) severity and acuity of (medical and psychiatric) symptoms; (c) extent of exposure to individuals, families and systems unrelated to VCBH.  That is, most of the Crisis Team service provision contacts are with unfamiliar (non-enrolled) clients. This differs from the service-delivery model under which most VCBH clinic-based PTs and LVNs typically operate (under the "MHA-Licensed" classification) in that the PT/LVN staff in the clinics more typically work with clients known to them, and their client contacts are primarily in office settings;
  • Routinely engages in a wide range of independent functioning, both in the field and in conducting phone work (within scope of practice) in their capacity as VCBH's 24/7 Access Line responders;
  • Coordinates and liaises in conjunction with a variety of community partners: Hospital Emergency Departments and units, law enforcement, schools, and all private and public systems throughout Ventura County (medical, psychiatric and otherwise); 
  • Collaborates and advocates on behalf of the client/family in conjunction with other support services provided by health care, social services agencies and community organizations;  
  • On a routine basis, represents VCBH and the County of Ventura in settings and with populations who typically are unfamiliar with county systems and for whom any behavioral health concepts or practices are "an unknown."  Every shift worked by Crisis Team staff involves a wide variety of "customer service" demands and challenges, with not only the identified "crisis client" (& family), but also with the referral parties and those to whom the Crisis Team may be referring the client.  These include inpatient psychiatric hospitals, the Children's Crisis Stabilization Unit ("CSU") and other "destination" facilities;
  • Operates a vehicle to transport individuals and their families for the purpose of providing crisis mental health services;
  • Under the supervision of Behavioral Health Clinicians, performs brief (non-crisis) interviews with adults, Transitional Age Youth (TAY), and for children who are seeking specialty mental health services;
  • Performs other related duties as required.
Professional Support Services
  • Engages in support of enrolled clients as an extension of the clinic treatment team, particularly outside of Monday-Friday business hours.  Coordinates extensively with the Adult and the Youth and Family Division clinics to ensure that any crisis contacts with enrolled clients are brought to the clinic team's attention. Follows clinic team's care plans and treatment goals so that clients receive consistent therapeutic interventions across their VCBH clinical contacts;
  • Consultation and training: uses professional skills to provide mental health consultation to persons, providers, staff of other agencies, and the community; conducts or participates in mental health/health-related training;
  • Participates in staff meetings; Ventura County Behavior Health trainings on various topics such as cultural competency, compliance, co-occurring disorders and substance abuse;   
  • Training of New Staff:  Engages actively in the training and mentoring of new staff throughout an extensive and lengthy "apprentice model" training process. Plays a critical role in assessing the new staffer's levels of mastery and all staff coordinate to determine whether the newcomer is ready to embark upon the next level of the training.  The teaching and mentoring which the Psychiatric Technician-Crisis Team provides is an invaluable component to the training of new staff.  The PT/LVN brings multiple levels of expertise (e.g., experience working in state facilities and in IPUs as well as the medical background and perspective specific to their licensure) and conveys to new staff, particularly the master's level clinicians who have had limited like experience, a "whole-person" orientation to addressing clients struggling with a mental health crisis;
  • Provider relations and resource development: uses professional skills in performing activities that establish, expand, and maintain smooth working relationships with the broad range of Crisis Team referral agencies and community partners.  Maintains at all times a professional, respectful and customer-focused attitude and demeanor. service providers;
  • Utilization review: uses professional skills in quality management activities such as peer auditing and review of colleagues' documentation, and participation in the ongoing development and improvement of service standards and protocols.
  • Performs other related duties as required.
Administrative Support Services
  • Provides information, education and contact information to individuals who are seeking guidance related to Medi-Cal and other state and federal programs and their benefits, and how to access and apply for these programs/benefits; assists persons in obtaining needed services;
  • Interagency coordination: collaborates with other agencies to educate about the Crisis Team's program scope, improve the cost effectiveness and availability of service delivery systems, and/or focus services on specific population groups or geographic areas;
  • Training activities: participates in training on patient advocacy programs for persons at risk, assessment and service delivery skills, and cultural competence;
  • Provides informed input on program planning, development and monitoring: assists in developing goals and objectives, policies and procedures, forms, and management information systems; monitors and provides feedback to supervisor(s) on matters which have the potential for affecting proper and efficient County, state, and federal program administration;
  • Independently completes clinical documentation and maintains productivity according to department standards with minimal administrative oversight and
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Typical Qualifications

These are entrance requirements and assure neither continuance in the process nor placement on an eligible list.


Requires two (2) years of full-time experience as a psychiatric technician, mental health technician, or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) AND at least (1) year of experience in a mental health/psychiatric setting.


  • Possession of a valid California license as a Psychiatric Technician or Vocational Nurse
  • Must possess and maintain a valid California driver license
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Thorough knowledge of: normal human growth and development; crisis assessment and intervention standards for persons with serious mental illness, alcohol and drug issues, co-occurring disorders and/or youth with serious emotional disturbance; and documentation standards.  

Ability to: establish and maintain effective working relationships with others as part of a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural team; assess and manage cases for an ethnically diverse population of persons with mental illness and their families; communicate effectively in writing and orally; efficiently organize time and workload responsibilities; effectively utilize agency and community resources; interpret and explain laws, rules and regulations to other staff, clients, family members and the public; and help implement state, federal and County mental health programs.

Ability to: establish and maintain the confidence of clients and professional staff; maintain confidentiality of client information.

Recruitment Process

FINAL FILING DATE:  This is a continuous recruitment and may close at any time; therefore, apply as soon as possible if you are interested in it.  Your application must be received by County of Ventura Human Resources in Ventura, California, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the closing date.

To apply on-line, please refer to our web site at  If you prefer to fill out a paper application form, please call (805) 654-5129 for application materials and submit them to County of Ventura Human Resources, 800 South Victoria Avenue, L-1970, Ventura, CA 93009. 

Note to Applicants:  It is essential that you complete all sections of your application and supplemental questionnaire thoroughly and accurately to demonstrate your qualifications.  A resume and/or other related documents may be attached to supplement the information in your application and supplemental questionnaire; however, it/they may not be submitted in lieu of the application.

NOTE: If presently permanently employed in another "merit" or "civil service" public agency/entity in the same or substantively similar position as is advertised, and if appointed to that position by successful performance in a "merit" or "civil service" style examination, then appointment by "Lateral Transfer" may be possible.  If interested, please click here for additional information.

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE – qualifying:  All applicants are required to complete and submit the questionnaire for this exam AT THE TIME OF FILING.  The supplemental questionnaire may be used throughout the exam process to assist in determining each applicant's qualifications and acceptability for the position.  Failure to complete and submit the questionnaire may result in the application being removed from consideration.

APPLICATION EVALUATION – 100%:  An application evaluation will be conducted.  A score will be assigned to each application based on established criteria.  Such score will be considered as the final score for placement on the eligible list.

Applicants successfully completing the exam process may be placed on an eligible list for a period of one (1) year.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION:  A thorough pre-employment, post offer background investigation which may include inquiry into past employment, education, criminal background information and driving record may be required for this position.
For further information about this recruitment, please contact Anna Ford via email at or by telephone at (805) 677-5153.