Mental Health Worker / Psych tech

  1. Hi
    The facility I work in doesn't have either of thses disciplines as we have Child and Youth Counselors as staff on our unit. As part of a program review I am trying to compare staffing. Can someone help me...
    • what education do MHW and PT's have?
    • do they have any special training in child and youth psychiatry?
    • what are there usual roles job description on a child and adolescent unit?
    • do they have a similar hands on function on a day to day basis as a nurse would? (minus the meds, orders etc...)
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    About Meraki

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 191; Likes: 307
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience


  3. by   PatricksRNMommy
    Hi there,

    I worked as a Mental Health Technician in an inpatient psych hospital that served adult, child, and adolescent clients for about 6 months (this was about 3 years ago). All facilities are different, but mine did not require any college training, only a high school diploma or GED and one week of classroom which was held at the facility. We learned therapeutic communication, crisis prevention intervention, CPR, and we learned about various mental disorders and the best way to handle patients with these disorders. We were also taught policies and procedures, etc. On the geriatric unit, we always had at least one mental health tech who had a CNA license and on our child/adolescent unit we had a behavioral health tech with a bachelors degree in education to help with "school" for the children each day.

    The usual daily routine for a mental health technician on the child adolescent unit consisted of periodic patient "checks" (every 5 or 15 minutes, depending on the acuity of the childs condition). The tech fills out a flow **** stating the child behavior at the time (ex: SA-situationally appropriate, C-crying, A-agitated, L-labile, S-sleeping, etc.). The techs are responsible for waking the patients up in the morning and assisting with ADLs as needed, getting vital signs and reporting them to the RNs as necessary, and getting the patients in line to receive medications. One tech would then escort patients who were allowed to leave the unit to go to breakfast. The techs continue to do the patient "checks" throughout the day. Techs at my facility also wrote patient notes (a note has to be written for each patient each shift, and at least one by an RN each 24-hour period). Techs assist with admissions, patient searches, belongings searches and inventories, and with group activities.

    Hope this helped somwhat
  4. by   lakerette01
    I worked at a inpatient psych hospital for 6 years in Michigan as a Mental Health Worker (MHW). Most of the people that held this position had a college degree or were in the process of getting one. Some people that had worked there for a long time, we just "grandfathered" in and were not required to have a college degree.

    Depending on the unit (Child and Adolescent, Adult, or Older Adult), the MHW's duties were 15 minute checks, teaching classes(like coping skills, etc), activities (esp at evening times when they didn't have an AT there), helping during meal times, charting on the patients (like what they did for the shift, etc), getting paperwork ready for the next shift/day, with the older adults, you would have to help them get ready for bed/take them to the rest room, etc. And for sure talking with the patients and things like that..