Psychiatric Technician Career Guide

Overview

Working with a qualified team of professionals is a constant learning process which will allows you to find out a new task to perform every day. Such a team of professionals is commonly seen in the field of psychology where a psychiatric technician provides complete services to its patients as well as seniors. They are trained in such a manner that they can effectively deal with emotionally and mentally disturbed people. These specialists are an extremely important part of the healthcare team and could get half of the tasks done on their own. Some might find this job difficult but those who have always found psychology interesting could do exceptionally well in this area.

Job Duties

Psychiatric technicians treat patients of almost all ages suffering from mental disorders and distress. These issues include dementia, depression and psychosis. They work under the supervision of a physician, mental health nurses, mental health workers and registered nurses. They assist patients with hygiene and personal care, help them participate in various activities, manage their medication and also monitor their progress.

Some additional job responsibilities that are given to them include admitting patients, contributing in treatment plans, and keeping records of patients’ conditions – responsibilities vary depending on the certification level. As psychiatric technicians have to deal with mentally ill patients, they must be prepared for any sort of misbehavior or unexpected activity. They are trained to behave exceptionally well with mentally disturbed patients to win their trust and to listen to their problems. They also administer hypodermic injections and oral medication on the basis of physicians’ prescriptions.

Job Outlook

Psychiatric technicians perform job duties in mental health clinics, long term care centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and private clinical. Their job description and expected work are almost similar to that of a nurse aide’s. They sit in well lit rooms and ensure a comfortable environment for patients. They might work in shifts or on alternate days in psychiatric hospitals. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs employment in this profession is expected to grow 28% by the year 2016, which is quite a high percentage as compared to other occupations.

Salary

Pay scale varies according to qualifications and the employer. A professional in this field might earn $25,000 to $32,700. The top 10% have the highest average earning of $36,700 (salary.com).

Educational Requirements

In most of the states, a formal training is mandatory from a vocational program or accredited college. These programs are of one year and subjects to study include biology, psychology and chemistry.  A course in this area introduces students to general psychology, along with its theory and application in various professional settings. The course will teach you the importance of understanding a patient with disabilities.

Main topics covered might include abnormal patterns, intelligence, motivation, personality, learning and thinking, emotion, perception and treatment practices. Eventually, a national certification could be acquired from American Association of Psychiatric Technicians.

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