Mental health technicians look after patients with mental illness and developmental disorders. They often work in residential mental health facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and related healthcare settings. They are also called psychiatric technicians, mental health associates, mental health workers, or behavioral health technicians.
What do mental health technician do ?
Mental health technicians care for emotionally or mentally impaired patients adjust to everyday life. They are usually hired in prison medical centers, state hospitals, regulated group homes, or private mental health facilities. It is also their responsibility to implement the care plan of the attending physicians by taking the patients’ vital signs and histories, monitoring the patients, administering medications, and monitoring their care. Mental health technicians also ensure that the patients attend their social therapy and recreational sessions. They look after their patients’ personal hygiene, too.
Main Duties of mental health technician
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health technicians monitor the patients’ behavior, entertain and note down their complaints and concerns, and document their condition. They assist patients while engaging in recreational and therapeutic activities and administer medications and other necessary treatments, while following the instructions of the physician or the other members of the medical team. Mental health technicians also assist the patients’ family in admitting and discharging the patients. It is their responsibility to obtain and observe the patients’ vital signs, too. They help the patients get through their day by feeding and bathing them, among other tasks. In case the patients become too violent, it is the mental health technicians’ job to pacify them.
The American Association of Psychiatric said that the key duties of mental health technicians include providing patient care and guidance to the patients, serving as their positive role model, assessing the patients, planning and implementing treatment activities, monitoring the effects of the treatments, administering medication, completing administrative tasks, and guiding patients and their families about the treatments.
In providing direct care to the patients, mental health technicians take vital signs and observe the patients’ mental functioning and alertness. They help bathe, feed, and dress the patients. They will administer medication and assess their effect on the patients. In case of crisis, they might need to put physical restraints on the patients. Check also mental health technician educational requirements and training.
Mental health technicians are also tasked with facilitating therapeutic activities and groups. They may organize therapy groups, plan, lead, and evaluate them. It is also their job to communicate with the rest of the medical team and the families of the patients. This is why mental health technician need to be detail-oriented, observant, and calm, with great social skills. There might also be instances when they have to accompany patients to appointments with their specialist doctors, court hearings, or testing centers.
Another important set of duties that mental health technicians need to perform include administrative tasks. They need to function as a secretary as they make sure they have enough supplies and answer the phones, room pages, and intercoms. They also see to it that messages reach the staff and the patients and book appointments for third-party providers who need to see the patients. Mental health technicians also need to observe the patients, especially during a crisis.