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A psychiatric technician is someone who cares for people that have a mental illness or a developmental disability, and provides them with therapeutic care. Psychiatric technicians work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and related healthcare settings.
Psychiatric technicians typically do the following:
Many psychiatric technicians work with patients who are severely developmentally disabled and need intensive care. Others work with patients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. Their work varies depending on the types of patients they work with.
Psychiatric technicians work as part of a medical team, under the direction of physicians and alongside other healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and therapists. Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric technicians can have a great influence on patients' outlook and treatment.
Psychiatric technicians work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and related healthcare settings, such as drug or alcohol treatment centres. They may care for patients whose illnesses make them disoriented, uncooperative, or violent. They often spend much of their shift on their feet.
Psychiatric technicians typically enter the occupation with a postsecondary certificate. Programs in psychiatric or mental health technology are commonly offered by community colleges and technical schools. Psychiatric technician programs include courses in biology, psychology, and counselling. The programs also may include supervised work experience or cooperative programs, in which students gain academic credit for structured work experience.
Programs for psychiatric technicians range in length from one semester to two years, and they are awarded either a certificate or an associate’s degree. They typically must participate in on-the-job training before they can work without direct supervision. This training may last for a few weeks or for several months. Training may include gaining hands-on experience while working under the supervision of an experienced technician or aide. Technicians may also attend workshops, lectures, or in-service training.