New psychiatric technician course offered at Beaufort County Community College

Published 3:58 pm Monday, May 6, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Beaufort County Community College will offer a new psychiatric technician class through its short-term healthcare technician programs. The course offers a new way for students to enter the healthcare field through Beaufort CCC and anticipates employment opportunities for mental health workers. The class starts on May 21 and runs through September 24. The registration fee, uniforms and certification exam fees are covered for qualifying students through a grant from the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians.

“It’s an important time because of the mental and behavioral health needs going on,” said Jackie Butcher, director of healthcare programs at Beaufort CCC. “These skills are in need in behavioral health facilities, long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, and in hospitals so we are excited to offer these valuable skills to healthcare professionals.”

The new psychiatric technician course is designed for students who want certification as a psychiatric tech. “These technicians are integral to the mental health care system, offering direct assistance, understanding mental health diagnoses, and developing intervention techniques. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for providing safe and therapeutic care to those with mental health/behavioral needs, preparing students for Level I American Association of Psychiatric Technician (AAPT) certification and entry-level positions in specialized care facilities or hospitals,” noted a BCCC news release.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

These technicians will work alongside nurses, psychiatrists, therapists and physicians to provide comprehensive care, focusing on managing activities, behaviors and patient interactions.

“This is not just about managing patients in acute situations like substance abuse and suicide, but also about managing the elderly population with dementia and Alzheimer’s or disorders with children such as ADHD,” said Laura Respass, instructor for the new class.

Students will need to hold at least nurse aide I certification, a program that is also offered at the college. The resulting certification is nationally recognized. “The credential will give an advantage to nurse aides by showing that they have formalized training in the behavioral health field,” stated the release.

Students can register for the course by calling 252-940-6375 or emailing If students do not currently hold the required nurse aide I certification, that course is offered starting May 20.

Employers interested in offering the training to their staff can contact Jackie Butcher at 252-940-6263 or