Psychiatric Tecnicians

  1. hi guys ,I'm looking for information about psych techs,because here in australia we don't have such a position and with the shortage of nurses here it might be an option to fill some of the shortfall we are experiencing
    1.what is it that they do
    2.what qualifications do they have
    3 is there a restriction on what ratio of psych techs to Registered Psych .Nurses
    Last edit by MHN on Apr 27, '02
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Hi there! I had to ask my mom (psych nurse) about this.

    On her unit, they have what are called MHP's (mental health professionals). They have degrees in psychology (associates, bachelors, or masters). They run groups, therapy sessions, one on one counseling, etc.

    There used to be more MHP's than RN's, but she said that since they have been taking more medically involved patients lately, the run about even.

    Hope this info is of some help to you.

    Heather
  4. by   Mary Dover
    MHN - how did I miss this thread?
    Heather's reply is right on the money (of course). Also, it's been my experience that in addition to the degrees she mentioned, some that I have worked with were CNA's as well, which was a BIG help, i.e. with taking vitals signs etc. The inpatient unit where I previously worked, was a 20 bed adult unit. (Actually when I first started working there as a new nurse, they admitted adolescents on the SAME unit - can you believe that?) Anyway, I would say, that typical coverage for 20 average acuity level pts. would be 2 RN's and 3 Psych Techs. The techs chart too, the RN is ultimately responsible. Several of the techs I worked with 'way back when' went on to pursue RN degrees.
    Here, Psych Techs are a valuable resource in an inpt unit.
    Take care my friend. I'm ready to start with the zapping lol.
    Mary
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by Mary Dover
    MHN - how did I miss this thread?
    :chuckle I wondered the same thing when I found the post a few pages back!

    Heather
  6. by   PaPsychRN
    In our 63 bed(soon to be like 90 bed) emergency psych hospital, our PT's have quite a bit of responsibility. They are hired if they have at least a bachelor's degree of some kind or some college and some related experience. They are all taught how to take vitals and are responsible for doing so on each shift. Also, they must do rounds every 20 mins, sit on 1:1's, chart on flow sheets, be assigned as a "contact person" for up to ~8 pts, monitor meals, monitor halls, bring new admissions onto the unit including searching pts, hold groups...I could go on and on. We, for the most part have wonderful staff in this role. Quite a few of our nurses started out that way. As an aside, we all (the nurses) find it odd that they are required to do all these things but are not required to be CPR and AED certified. I think mgmt. is working on that. ANyway, hope this helps.
  7. by   mamabear
    At our hospital, we have psych tech 1's and 2's. The tech 2's have a four year degree in psych,and run groups, take crisis calls, do impromptu 1:1's, ask non-nursing questions on our 9 page (!!) intake assessment form, do vitals, etc.
    The tech 1's are, to be blunt, CNA's in street clothes. They aren't required to have a degree in anything. They do basically the same thing as the tech 2's except run groups. That's the only difference.
    1's and 2's respond to take-downs, do vitals, 1:1's with patients in restraints, assist with ADL's, take the patients out for smoke break, help them fill out menus, ad nauseum.
    Personally, I think the 1's get a raw deal. Some of them have been working psych for 10+ years and have it all over the ones that just got their BA's. As far as a staffing ratio...

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Psychiatric Tecnicians