Psychiatric Technicians

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Support Team Member (STM)
  • Residential Aide (RA)
  • Psychology Associate
  • Psychiatric Technician (PT)
  • Psychiatric Technician (Psych Tech)
  • Patient Care Specialist
  • Milieu Therapist
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Mental Health Technician (MHT)
  • Mental Health Specialist
show all

What They Do

  • Contact patients' relatives to arrange family conferences.
  • Escort patients to medical appointments.
  • Interview new patients to complete admission forms, to assess their mental health status, or to obtain their mental health and treatment history.
  • Lead prescribed individual or group therapy sessions as part of specific therapeutic procedures.
  • Aid patients in performing tasks, such as bathing or keeping beds, clothing, or living areas clean.
  • 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.
  • Develop or teach strategies to promote client wellness and independence.
  • Train or instruct new employees on procedures to follow with psychiatric patients.
  • Restrain violent, potentially violent, or suicidal patients by verbal or physical means as required.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: EIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Enterprising interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $34,030 with most people making between $24,840 and $47,610

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,490 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,440 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 20 replacement openings for approximately 20 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education