If you are interested in caring for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals, then you should consider a career as a psychiatric assistant. As a psychiatric assistant, you would work under a team that might include professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and/or therapists.
Psychiatric assistants have numerous job responsibilities and duties to perform each day. These workers help their patients get dressed, bathe, groom, and even eat. In addition, psychiatric assistants socialize with their patients, as well as lead them in educational and recreational games and activities. These assistants may also play card games with their patients, watch television with them, or participate in group activities like sports or field trips. On a daily basis, psychiatric assistants observe their patients and report any physical or behavioral issues that may be important for the professional staff to be aware of. Other duties of psychiatric assistants include accompanying patients to and from tests and treatments.
Psychiatric assistants work about 40 hours a week. Because patients need care 24 hours a day, some may work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. As a psychiatric assistant, you would be standing and walking, as well as possibly moving patients in and out of their bed. You might even have to help them stand or walk. You would also need to be prepared to care for patients whose illness may cause violent behavior in your presence.
Education and Training
A degree in a related medical field will help prepare you for this type of work. In addition, you will be able to advance to higher paying positions more easily if you have already had formal training.
Publish date: February 10, 2011