Psychiatric Aides

social interests patient treatment nursing emotional support assistance recreational activity mentally impaired patients medical staff

Mental Health Worker (MHW), Psychiatric Aide, Psychiatric Nursing Aide, Therapeutic Program Worker (TPW)

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Mental Health Service; Mental Health Service Apprentice; Mental Health Service Craftsman; Mental Health Service Helper; Mental Health Service Journeyman; Mental Health Service Manager; Mental Health Service Superintendent
Behavioral Health Specialist; Nurse Corps Officer; Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner
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Behavioral Health Technician
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What they do:
Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff. May assist with daily living activities, lead patients in educational and recreational activities, or accompany patients to and from examinations and treatments. May restrain violent patients. Includes psychiatric orderlies.
On the job, you would:
  • Record and maintain patient information, such as vital signs, eating habits, behavior, progress notes, treatments, or discharge plans.
  • Listen and provide emotional support and encouragement to psychiatric patients.
  • Complete physical checks and monitor patients to detect unusual or harmful behavior and report observations to professional staff.


Math and Science

  • psychology

Arts and Humanities

  • English language


  • customer service


  • therapy and counseling


Basic Skills

  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • talking to others


  • understanding people's reactions
  • looking for ways to help people

Problem Solving

  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve 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


  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.

They do well at jobs that need:

  • Self Control
  • Concern for Others
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Dependability
  • Social Orientation


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software

  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology

Presentation software

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Electronic mail software

  • Email software
  • Microsoft Outlook


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
some college
usually needed

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