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  • Psych testing

    I know this has been touched on multiple times but I wanted to get everyone’s take on my situation. I work as an armed security guard at a local hospital. There’s a great opportunity at another hospital, however, you have to be a certified sworn officer for this position. In my current position I have assisted police multiple times and been in plenty of stressful situations and handled it professionally. I want to apply for this position but I’m currently taking anxiety medication stemming from ptsd when I was involved in a bad wreck 10 years ago (ran off the interstate at 75mph). I’ve never had an actual panic attack, just was nervous as hell when I started driving again and my doc thought it was a good idea to get on them. Im fine now still taking medication. I’m physically fit and have a clean record. I know I can handle the job but it’s not up to me. What are the chances of passing the psych testing?

  • #2
    Were you diagnosed with PTSD? The psych test involves many different things. No one can tell you what the chances of you passing the test are.

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    • #3
      The very worst that can happen is they say "Thanks, but no thanks."

      Doesn't hurt to try and find out for yourself. Unless you're asking the person administering the psych test or making the final hiring decision, everyone is just guessing. I know a guy who failed a psych test for a local PD and has since passed another psych test and was hired and has had a great career in Federal LE. You never know.
      Originally posted by RSGSRT
      We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
      Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

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      • #4
        I know someone that works @ a local PD in my state with PTSD. He was a pog in the Marine Corps, not sure how he got it. But he claimed he was diagnosed with it. Apply and see what happens.

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        • #5
          From my experience, it depends on few different factors.

          First, the department. Most departments take mental health issues and medication use on a case-by-case basis. But some are stricter about mental health issues than others; anything that raises concerns and you're not going to get a recommendation. Other departments will give you a fairer shake; as long as the psychologist thinks you can do the job, the department will take you, warts and all.

          Second, the anxiety meds. If it's a mild, one-a-day, maintenance type of medication like Zoloft, Luvox, Viibryd, etc, I learned that psych evaluators tend to be more lenient. If you require quick acting anti-anxiety medication like Ativan, Valium, or Xanex, that can be a red flag. It suggests that your anxiety is debilitating which, if true, needless to say, can get you and others killed in law enforcement. Also, medication like that can slow your reflexes and make you drowsy.

          Third, it depends on the psychologist. Some don't want ANY liability on their hands, and if you don't have the peace of mind of a zen master, you're not getting through. Most others are more holistic.

          I should warn you though, if you get hired, be aware that some departments' cultures are hostile towards officers with mental health issues. You'll get ostracized and washed out if they perceive any weakness. Be careful of with whom you share your struggles.
          "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
          -Chris Rock

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          • #6
            I've been on this planet long enough to know that everyone has something about them that triggers some mental stimuli on a normal basis. Some people are more anxious/nervous than others, some are more hot headed than others, and others are sadder than others. That's what makes us human. We live in a world today where there's a louder awareness of mental health.

            With all that in mind it boils down to how you are able to cope with it and manage it on a healthy and socially acceptable level. So long as you're capable of carrying out the day to day without it debilitating life's basic functions, you're in good shape. Your situation here is nothing short of a common condition. You had a traumatic experience some years ago and it laid you out and stuck you with anxiety requiring medication to allow you a good quality of living.

            Assuming that you do meet the qualification of being a certified officer for the hospital job, take the psych exam and see what happens. It's simply a personality survey that measures your mental and emotional soundness for this type of work. Answer the questions truthfully but answer them in a general sense to how it generally applies to you. You should be able to glance at the question and know in seconds if it applies or doesn't apply to you. Don't over think it because that can trip you up.

            Highlighting on what another officer above has mentioned, these tests and the psychologists that administer them are all zeroed in on various thresholds. They work for the agency that's paying them to test potential new hires and they know exactly what type of person they want to join their ranks. You're either that person or you're not. All they can do is record your results and report to the chiefs and sheriffs that have the final say.

            You will be asked about the medication, so that will be your opportunity to explain the back story. My personal opinion, your situation with the anxiety shouldn't be a deal breaker. Take the test with a clear head and let us know how it goes. These things are more often than not a luck of the draw. Take care.

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            • #7
              A couple of things,

              The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from discussing medical issues with you except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. To complicate that, cops lack the training and expertise necessary to pass judgement on medical issues, so even when you get an offer to become sworn, none of them can talk to you about the psych or the medical. This can only be done by a licensed medical professional who is qualified to pass judgement in that area.

              Generally speaking, Psych exams evaluate applicants to determine if they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position.

              While past history and prescription use will be considered and play a part in it, how you will do is going to depend on your mental state at the time you take the psych exam and how it relaters to the duties of the job you are seeking.

              I know I've just written four paragraphs that have really told you little. My whole point is, the shrink will not rely on just one or two things. Instead, they will look at the whole picture.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                [FONT=Arial][SIZE=12px]A couple of things,

                The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from discussing medical issues with you except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. To complicate that, cops lack the training and expertise necessary to pass judgement on medical issues, so even when you get an offer to become sworn, none of them can talk to you about the psych or the medical. This can only be done by a licensed medical professional who is qualified to pass judgement in that area.
                The problem in my state is that both POST and the State Police have found a loophole in the ADA in order to have instant access to one's psych files: If you pass the oral board, you immediately get a conditional offer. This means you have to disclose your entire medical history to your background investigator, and both they, and the chief and/or police commissioner, are the ones who make the decision whether or not to disqualify someone for their medical history. The psychologist's exam, in the rare case that a candidate on medication gets that far, only offers a final opinion.
                "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
                -Chris Rock

                Comment


                • scotty_appleton814
                  scotty_appleton814 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What's the loophole?

                • tanksoldier
                  tanksoldier commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Again, where is the loophole?

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