Behavioral Health Technician
Support psychiatric patients in their daily tasks.
Becoming a Psychiatric Aide opens the way to a variety of jobs in the field of psychology. This is an entry-level position, but in the eyes of your patients, you are royalty. That’s because you’re the person who helps them get through each day.
Sure, they have Doctors and Nurses and maybe even family members who provide for their well-being. But as a Psychiatric Aide, you are the one who makes sure they brush their teeth, helps them with their bathing needs, and shuttles them to and from appointments. Psychiatric Aides talk to the patients, calm them when they’re upset, and cheer them up when they’re down.
You look out for their health too. Your patients suffer a wide range of ailments, from psychosis to bipolar disorder to issues with substance abuse. Because you work under the supervision of the patient’s Psychiatrist, Psychologist, or Psychiatric Nurse, you are familiar with their condition. You understand that the patient might be volatile, weeping one minute and angry the next. He or she might be disconnected, unable to respond verbally, or incapable of holding onto a thought. Whatever their situation, you are there to assist them and provide for their immediate needs. You also contribute to their long-term care by monitoring their behavior and recording improvements or digressions.
Typically you work in the psychiatric unit of a hospital or other facility. Patients check in and check out, some staying hours, others weeks. However long their stay, you nurse them and care for their needs until they’re well enough to leave.