Also called: Mental Health Associate, Mental Health Technician (MHT), Mental Health Worker, Psychiatric Technician (PT)
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Psychiatric technicians and aides provide safety and support to help people with mental illness and severe developmental disabilities enjoy quality of life, and to improve their mental health. Also known as mental health technicians, psychiatric technicians assist with patients’ therapeutic care; they listen to patients’ concerns and lead them in recreational or therapeutic activities. They also have medical tasks, administering medication and monitoring patients’ vital signs. Psychiatric aides assist with transportation, engage patients in activities, and maintain a safe, clean physical environment. Both technicians and aides help patients with daily living needs, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Meeting patients’ needs requires patience and fortitude as well as the stamina to be on your feet all day and, if it comes to it, the strength to restrain a distressed or violent patient. It’s not always pleasant work. However, these workers can have a great deal of influence on patients’ outlooks and treatments. Observation skills, communication, and compassion are key qualities in these fields. Psychiatric technicians and aides work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and chemical dependency addiction treatment centers. Facilities are typically all-hours, so work hours may include nights, weekends, and holidays. Psychiatric technicians usually need a certificate in the field, and many also have previous experience as a nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse. Psychiatric aides typically need only a high school diploma. Both technicians and aides get on-the-job training before they work without direct supervision.
What they do:Care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients' physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.
On the job, you would:
- Take and record measures of patients' physical condition, using devices such as thermometers or blood pressure gauges.
- Monitor patients' physical and emotional well-being and report unusual behavior or physical ailments to medical staff.
- Provide nursing, psychiatric, or personal care to mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded patients.
Math and Science
- therapy and counseling
- customer service
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
- talking to others
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- understanding people's reactions
- changing what is done based on other people's actions
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Stress Tolerance
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
- GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
- Netsmart Technologies Avatar Clinical Workstation CWS
Office suite software