Psychiatric Technician Jobs

Psychiatric Technician Job Description

Psych technicians work under the supervision of psychiatrists and nurses and are generally responsible for caring for emotionally disturbed, mentally retarded, or mentally impaired people. The more specific duties of a psychiatric technician can include the following responsibilities:

  • Monitoring patients’ emotional and physical well-being
  • Providing personal, nursing, and psychiatric care to patients
  • Reporting physical ailments and/or unusual behavior to the medical staff and supervisors
  • Recording blood pressure, temperature, and other measures of patients’ physical conditions
  • Assisting and collaborating with psychologists, rehab therapists, and doctors to help rehabilitate, treat, and return patients to the “outside world”
  • Encouraging patients to participate in recreational, social, and therapeutic activities along with encouraging them to develop work and life skills
  • Restraining potentially violent, actually violent, or suicidal patients as is required
  • Teaching and developing strategies to promote patient independence and wellness
  • Administering hypodermic injections and/or oral medications per hospital procedures and doctor’s prescriptions
  • Helping the patients perform duties such as making the bed, cleaning clothes, bathing, and cleaning the living area
  • Getting in touch with patients’ families and relatives in order to prepare family conferences
  • Maintaining patient records in accordance with established procedures
  • Leading therapy sessions
  • Interviewing new patients by helping them complete admission forms as well as obtaining their treatment and mental health history

Psychiatric technicians can become employed in a wide range of environments such as general hospital acute psychiatric units, psychiatric health facilities, and residential treatment programs. While most psych technicians work forty hours each week, most of the time, schedules include evening hours, weekends, and some holidays.

Training to Become a Psych Tech

Most establishments that require psychiatric technicians require that their techs have at least an associate’s degree. However, that degree does need to be specific and specialized.

As a technician trains, he or she will take courses that will introduce them to psychology. This is in order to prepare potential psych techs about the types of illnesses and patients they will most likely encounter during their careers. Another big focus on psychiatric tech training is pharmacology; this is because psych techs must understand dosage, learn how to administer meds, and understand exactly what’s involved in handling the drug needs of the mentally ill or emotionally unstable.

While training isn’t always required once an associate’s degree is acquired, on-the-job training can be a great way for psychiatric technicians to learn how to be the best techs possible.

Also, a psychiatric technician may be required to become licensed, depending upon the state in which he or she lives.

Earning as a Psych Tech

The average annual salary of a psychiatric technician is $28,380. However, the annual wage for a psych tech can range from $25,000 to $33,000 and depends upon numerous factors such as work location and any unique experience a candidate has.

If you’re interested in working with the mentally disturbed and would like to be a part of an industry that helps others, consider training to become a psychiatric technician.

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