Hire Mental Health Technicians
Mental health technicians are valuable members of the mental health treatment team. They work alongside mental health professionals and health team members to assist patients and affect positive change.
Hiring a mental health technician starts with a job description. Not to be underestimated, a job description is the first point of communication between candidates and the hiring medical facility or institution. Create a job description that is clear, concise, and detailed. Are you looking for candidates who live in a specific area? What is the schedule? Is prior experience required? Outline the responsibilities and requirements clearly. Keep in mind that the job description should be more than just a list of expectations. Highlight what you can offer the candidate as well. Hiring managers should be clear about the schedule, the number of hours, and location. Depending on the need, mental health technicians may work in psychiatric facilities, mental health centers, or hospitals on a part-time or full-time basis.
Mental health technicians are also alternatively referred to as psychiatric technicians. Be sure to include this term to ensure that the posting shows up in search results of online hiring platforms. Once you have a compelling job description, posting your job announcement is the next step. Aside from general job boards, it is best for hiring managers to post job announcements on healthcare-specific job boards, online groups, and in community groups as well.
Mental Health Technician Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a mental health technician are guided by a patient’s treatment plan which is developed by a mental health therapist or counselor. A mental health technician carries out specific tasks under a treatment plan, observes patients, listens to their concerns, and documents daily care and condition details of patients.
Mental health technicians are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of patients and provide direct patient care. They assist patients in their activities of daily living like personal hygiene, bathing, and dressing. They also check vital signs (respiration, pulse, temperature, and blood pressure). Depending on the need, mental health technicians administer prescribed medication as directed or advised by a nurse or doctor. They are responsible for alerting medical professionals and staff in case of an emergency or potential danger and assist by using physical restraints if necessary.
Additionally, mental health technicians admit new patients and participate in conferences with the patients and their families. It is important to remember that mental health technicians are active members of the mental health treatment team. They lead activities, social activities, record, and update other health team members. Lastly, mental health technicians maintain patient confidentiality by keeping patient records and other documents secure.
Mental Health Technician Skills and Qualifications
To qualify as a mental health technician, a high school diploma or GED is required. A bachelor's degree in mental health technology or a related field is an advantage. Prior work experience as a mental health technician in a psychiatric ward or medical facility is typically required.
Dealing with distressed patients entails being compassionate, patient, and professional. Candidates must have excellent active listening and problem-solving skills. Moreover, strong communication skills are a must as mental health technicians interact closely with patients, doctors, and other health team members. Other requirements include attention to detail, a strong ability to follow instructions, and standard protocols regarding patient care. Mental health technicians must be physically fit in case patients may need to be lifted or restrained. As the schedule may vary per medical facility, flexibility to work on evenings, weekends, and even holidays is a plus.
Mental health technicians attend to the daily needs and requirements of patients and the value they contribute to their journey to health is immeasurable.