OT(?): Chem. Dep. Tech

  1. Hello again everyone.

    I had a question regarding a Chem. Dependency tech... Does anyone know of there functions? I have a job lined up for a position of this but I would kinda like an idea as to what the dutys would entail.

    Any help would be great!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Monica RN,BSN
    I think it would be a good idea to go to the place where you are planning to work and ask for a copy of the job description. That should answer all your questions. Did you interview for the job? They should tell you the details in an interview as to what the job involves.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    Michael - you accepted a job and you don't know what the duties are? Monica is right - you should already have a job description provided by your workplace. And while it's difficult to impart every bit of what's involved in a job in the interview process, you should have a basic understanding of what's expected of you before you accept a position. Fortunately, this is a good experience for you to draw upon when you next have to interview.

    In my workplace, the CDU tech is responsible for running the non-psychotherapy groups (usually peer/goals groups, discharge planning, AA/NA meetings) and is the person responsible for doing the legwork (i.e. lots and lots of phone calls) to arrange outpatient followup. It requires excellent phone skills, organizational skills, and a VERY thick skin.

    It can be a challenging position because the recitivism rate is so high that people with addictions may burn a lot of bridges and become progressively harder to place in outpatient treatment.

    I haven't worked any other psych settings, so I can only speak to my facility. I wonder if this is markedly different from other chemical dependecy programs?
  5. by   FutureRNMichael
    No. I have not accepted the job yet. Have not even interviewed yet. Thus, I am hear asking questions before I interview.

    I filled out an online app. and from there they emailed me saying they would like to speak with me and have me fill out an app. in written form. SO I'm hoping that is a good sign. It's a nice first step anyway!

    They said the job reqs. were A: Diploma & B: Preferablly someone with Chem Dep. experience. I am not positive what they mean by B but I have lived with two alcholics/closet drug users all my life so I understand them pretty well. I also had my own chemical dependency boutes. Not that I will disclose that with them or anything.

    From the sounds of your description, I think that job would be lots of fun. I know how chemical dependent people act pretty well.

    For some reason, maybe because of the little qualifications needed, I feel this job might be more geared towards a different area of work. Also, from the sounds of Nurse Ratcheds description, seems like most of that kinda work would be going on during the day time. This job is a nocturnal shift, 11pm-7am. Sooo?

    I sent off an email to their HR dept who emailed me orginally asking about job dutys so hopefully I get some answers there.
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    Hmmm - sounds like this would involve being a tech on a chemical dependency unit. This is a fine semantic difference, but our facility has one "CDU tech" who is reponsible for things as I mentioned. Straight up tech positions involve taking vitals (depending on whether your facility even does them on nights) and specifically re: night shift, doing 15 minute checks on people. 11-7 on our CDU is pretty darned quiet unless we happen to get an admission.

    Edited to add, I agree heartily that it's not a good idea to use one's chemical dependecy experience, either personal or with family members, as credentials for the job. I'd stick to the job description and why you would be qualified to perform those duties.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Aug 12, '03
  7. by   Tweety
    There are probably different definations of what a "tech" is around the country.

    I had a friend that was a tech in ETOH and drug rehab and basically she just escorted clients from group to group. Did room checks at night, did patient counts to account for them, etc. Nothing quite as detailed as Nurse Ratched's facility. But certainly not the back breaking work of a tech in a nursing home. She didn't have a hospital background and wasn't a CNA.
  8. by   FutureRNMichael
    Sounds like it might be a mix between your two descriptions. The pay is VERY good($12.00+ per hr). I assume I would be doing more than check on people but then again, it is noc shift.

    I filled out an application today. I will let you all know how it goes.
  9. by   jnette
    Michael...
    I was a Chem. Dep'y Tech for several years before moving on to Crisis Intervention Counselor in a private dual diagnosis Chemical Dependency facility.

    Basically, you will perform all of the duties described in the posts above. You will obtain the routine vitals, assist with ADLs/BDLs
    do lots of one-on-ones, assist with admissions, ecsort clients to groups, often stay with them during group... you will probably drive and/or escort clients to recreational functions, picnics, shopping sprees, etc.

    You will have your own tech charting to do and working nights you will more than likely be doing a lot of chart auditing as well.

    Many facilities prefer their staff to be in recovery themselves (including their nurses and counselors).. I was one of the very few who was not. Clients do build a better rapport with those staff who have walked in their shoes.

    However, I would not offer any information re your personal status unless specifically asked/required... you'll be able to feel that one out.

    I hope this will be something that will work for you.. wish you the best, and keep us posted!
  10. by   FutureRNMichael
    Thank you so much for your information, jnette! Much appreciated! The way you describe the job, I would die and go to heaven to do that type of work.

    I have a question though... What are ADL's/BDL's? I have heard this used in regards to an ALF before so if I had to take a guess it would include helping the patients dress/shower? Also, what includes chart auditing?

    Thank you so much! I am really hoping I get the oppurtunity to work with these indviduals. Seems like it is THE perfect fit for the job I am not only looking for but a job that would serve me very well in my future career.

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