Psychiatric Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts

Psychiatric Technicians Career Video

Cares for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitors patients' physical and emotional well-being and reports to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Takes and records measures of patients' physical condition, using devices such as thermometers or blood pressure gauges.
  • Monitors patients' physical and emotional well-being and report unusual behavior or physical ailments to medical staff.
  • Provides nursing, psychiatric, or personal care to mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded patients.
  • Observes and influences patients' behavior, communicating and interacting with them and teaching, counseling, or befriending them.
  • Collaborates with or assists doctors, psychologists, or rehabilitation therapists in working with mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or developmentally disabled patients to treat, rehabilitate, and return patients to the community.
  • Encourage patients to develop work skills and to participate in social, recreational, or other therapeutic activities that enhance interpersonal skills or develop social relationships.
  • Restrains violent, potentially violent, or suicidal patients by verbal or physical means as required.
  • Trains or instructs new employees on procedures to follow with psychiatric patients.
  • Develops or teaches strategies to promote client wellness and independence.
  • Administers oral medications or hypodermic injections, following physician's prescriptions and hospital procedures.

Related Careers

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Behavioral Health Technician --
  • Health Care Technician -- Performs basic nursing care duties and other assistance services outside of direct care.
  • Licensed Psychiatric Technician (LPT) --
  • Mental Health Assistant (MHA) --
  • Mental Health Associate --
  • Mental Health Specialist -- Performs an assessment of the patient's mental state and then may recommend a treatment or refer the patient to a psychiatrist who can also prescribe medicine.
  • Mental Health Technician (MHT) --
  • Mental Health Worker --
  • Residential Aide (RA) --