Psychiatric AidesPsychiatric Aides, also called psychiatric technician assistants, work under the supervision of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers to provide nursing and personal care to developmentally disabled, mentally ill or substance abuse patients in State or private hospitals or private nursing facilities.
The most common tasks include assisting patients with bathing, dressing or feeding; encouraging patients to participate in educational and recreational activities; recording patient blood pressure, pulse and temperature; and aiding or restraining patients to prevent injuries.
Psychiatric Aides report any health or behavioral changes to the supervising medical staff. Psychiatric Aides may play games such as cards with the patients, watch television with them, or participate in group activities such as sports or field trips.
They observe patients and report any physical or behavioral signs that might be important for the professional staff to know.
They accompany patients to and from examinations and treatments.
Because they have such close contact with patients, Psychiatric Aides can have a great deal of influence on their outlook and treatment.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Desire to help others.
- Emotional stability.
- Nursing Assistant Certification issued by the Department of Health Services is preferred.
- Fingerprint clearance is required for certification.
- Psychiatric Aides Median hourly wage: $11.40
- Average annual wage: $24,133
- Estimated number of Psychiatric Aides in 2002: 1,700
- Estimated number of Psychiatric Aides in 2012: 2,000
- Estimated annual job openings: 50
Possible Career Paths for Psychiatric Aides include becoming a: