Atascadero State Hospital is a state forensic psychiatric hospital serving an all adult male population. The program includes the following components:
1) A three week orientation
2) A three and a half month, full time rotation on an admissions unit, focusing on psychological assessment of mentally ill forensic patients. Two, four month, three day a week rotations on treatment units that run concurrently with an eight month, 12 hour a week rotation on the Forensic Services Team.
3) Completion of 15 psychological evaluations including 6 psychological testing batteries, 7 forensic evaluations, 1 behavior modification plan, and 1 PCL-R evaluation
4) Participation in seminars including: Forensics, Individual Differences and Diversity, Scientific and Ethical Practice, Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised/Risk Assessment, and Professional Issues.
5) Completion of 2 "tutorials" (structured learning experiences chosen by the intern and the intern's supervisors).
6) Minimum of four hours per week dedicated to supervision.
7) Interns are encouraged to attend training and professional development activities.
Interns play an integral role in establishing training goals and activities for the year. With approximately 60 psychologists on staff, interns have opportunities to gain training/experience in many specialty areas. Within the program structure, each intern's program is tailored to meeting their individual training needs and interests while meeting some basic requirements of the overall program.
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, modifications have been put into place to ensure the safety of staff and patients while also continuing to meet the training needs of interns and the goals of the internship. DSH-Atascadero takes infection control very seriously. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the hospital has instituted mandatory daily screening, use of masks, and vaccination, regular COVID testing, unit quarantines as needed, and limiting patient treatment activities to those offered on the unit. So far, these measures have been successful at limiting the spread of COVID. As cases wax and wane across the nation, in California, and even in our small county, we have remained vigilant about ways to manage the pandemic to protect staff and patients, alike. As of 7/23/21, there are no modifications to the training program. Previous changes (e.g., attending seminars and supervision via video conference) may be reinstituted if deemed warranted based on COVID-19 prevalence in the hospital.