Psychiatric Technicians

Description

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.

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Observe and influence patients' behavior, communicating and interacting with them and teaching, counseling, or befriending them.
  • Encourage patients to develop work skills and to participate in social, recreational, or other therapeutic activities that enhance interpersonal skills or develop social relationships.
  • Take and record measures of patients' physical condition, using devices such as thermometers or blood pressure gauges.
  • Collaborate with or assist doctors, psychologists, or rehabilitation therapists in working with mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or developmentally disabled patients to treat, rehabilitate, and return patients to the community.
  • Develop or teach strategies to promote client wellness and independence.
  • Aid patients in performing tasks, such as bathing or keeping beds, clothing, or living areas clean.
  • Restrain violent, potentially violent, or suicidal patients by verbal or physical means as required.
  • Lead prescribed individual or group therapy sessions as part of specific therapeutic procedures.
  • Issue medications from dispensary and maintain records in accordance with specified procedures.
  • Administer oral medications or hypodermic injections, following physician's prescriptions and hospital procedures.
  • Interview new patients to complete admission forms, to assess their mental health status, or to obtain their mental health and treatment history.
  • Contact patients' relatives to arrange family conferences.

Skills

Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Abilities

Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Behavioral Health Technician
Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN)
Direct Care Worker (DCW)
Health Care Technician
Human Service Technician
Human Services Support Specialist (HSSS)
Mental Health Assistant (MHA)
Mental Health Counselor
Mental Health Nurse (RN)
Mental Health Technician (MHT)
Mental Health Worker
Psychiatric Assistant
Psychiatric Technician
Rehabilitation Technician

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$14.45 hourly, $30,050 annual.
Employment (2008):
67,760 employees