Mental health technicians care for people who have mental illness or developmental delays. Mental health technicians, also known as psychiatric technicians or aides, are also responsible for the following according to BLS.gov:
- Observe patients’ behavior, listen to their concerns, and record their condition
- Lead patients in therapeutic and recreational activities
- Give medications and other treatments to patients, following instructions from doctors and other medical professionals
- Help with admitting and discharging patients
- Monitor patients’ vital signs, such as their blood pressure
- Help patients with activities of daily living, including eating and bathing
- Restrain patients who may become physically violent
- Monitor patients’ behavior and location in a mental healthcare facility
- Serve meals and help patients eat
- Keep facilities clean by doing tasks such as changing bed linens
- Participate in group activities, such as playing sports and going on field trips
- Help transport patients within a hospital or residential care facility
Mental health technicians work with patients with severe developmental delay or disability who need intensive care. They may also work with patients who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s and other mental illness are also among the diagnoses they may experience.
The majority of mental health technicians are employed by psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. Fewer technicians were employed by residential facilities or developmental disability facilities. Mental health technicians work long hours and spend a lot of time on their feet. These patients are usually inpatient so they require twenty-four hour care. Mental health technicians may work day shift of night shift as well as weekends.
Psychiatrictimes.com wrote an article on mental health issues that plague our military, especially those that have been deployed, such as PTSD, anxiety and depression. They state, “there is an acute shortage of services, trained clinicians, and lack of expertise in evidence-based treatments, which limits the care of large numbers of redeployed veterans and their families.” As a military spouse, these disorders and diseases may affect your life personally. Becoming a mental health technician could help you not only gain a rewarding career, but may also help in your everyday life. With the prevalence of these disorders among our military, this is a portable career that is going to be able to follow you wherever you are relocated. Help your family and fellow military service families by becoming a mental health technician.
Mental health technicians need a special skill set as working with the mentally ill or disabled can be emotionally challenging. They must be able to work in high stress situations and know how to deescalate a situation that could get out of hand. Sometimes restraints need to be used on patients to keep themselves and staff members safe. Building a report with this population so they trust you is a must! If you have compassion for this population of patients and would like to use your skill set to provide them with help, check out our Mental Health Technician Program today!
Ed4Career offers Complete Career Training Programs including our Mental Health Technician Professional Program which includes Abnormal Psychology, Mental Health Technician, Direct Support Professional, Better Interpersonal Communication, Personal Excellence and Addiction & Recovery: An Introduction courses.
Upon successful completion of our Mental Health Technician course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position in a mental health setting and will be prepared to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Mental Health Technician (CMHT).