By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Larned State Hospital Superintendent to visit Barton Community College
Mental Health Technician program being considered
Placeholder Image

Larned State Hospital Superintendent Dr. Tom Kinlen will attend Thursday’s study session with the Barton Community College Board of Trustees, set for 4 p.m. in the Seminar Room, F-30 on the lower level of the BCC Fine Arts Building. This is billed as a “linkage” meeting between the trustees and LSH. Other guests from Larned will be Holly Hertel, former director of nursing; and Julie Belt, interim director of nursing.
During the meeting, Dr. Kathy Kottas, BCC’s executive director of nursing and health-care education, will discuss plans for a Mental Health Technician program at the college. Initially, the classes will be offered to LSH employees.
An executive summary provided by Dr. Kottas explains that discussions pertinent to the development of an MHT program began approximately one and a half years ago, at the request of LSH.
“MHTs, previously known as Licensed Mental Health Technicians (LMHTs), historically were utilized as staff at state psychiatric mental health facilities to extend the licensed staff for patient care,” the report notes. “The previous LMHTs functioned similarly to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) at LSH. In the late 1990s there was a shift to utilize more Licensed Practical Nurses, which possessed assessment skills whereas the LMHT did not. Consequently, the LMHT training programs closed and were no longer available and LSH shifted to training LPNs in conjunction with BCC.
“The ever changing face of health care has now come full circle, and Mental Health Facilities again need trained staff for patient care. Approximately two years ago Osawatomie State Hospital petitioned the (Kansas State Board of Nursing) to reopen their MHT program and once again train MHTs. This was approved, but they have yet to begin the MHT training. Shortly after Osawatomie State Hospital began developing their training, discussions began between LSH and BCC to develop a training program for MHTs at LSH. LSH Administration has proposed to work in partnership with BCC to develop a certificate program to train Mental Health Technicians.”
Dr. Kottas will also be on the agenda Thursday to discuss changes in the college’s nursing programs. These are basically revisions to keep in line with KSBN changes.