What does a Psychiatric Aide do?

Patients with mental illnesses are given direct care and supervision a psychiatric aide. An aide ensures that clients maintain personal hygiene, eat regularly, exercise, and attend appointments under the supervision of therapists and nurses. Aides also act as companions for patients, conversing with them and engaging them in recreational activities. Assisted living facilities, inpatient psychiatric wards, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics are all places where professionals work.

A psychiatric aide’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of patients in a mental health facility. During a shift in a large facility, an aide may be responsible for a dozen or more patients. In order to provide the best possible care, he or she must study patient files and learn about each client’s habits and conditions. It’s crucial for an aide to get to know their clients so that they can spot and report unusual behavior.

A psychiatric aide may be responsible for dressing, bathing, and feeding clients, depending on the work setting. Aides focus more on keeping residents on task and providing company in facilities where residents are able to handle personal tasks independently. Clients may be entertained an aide, who may also accompany them on outings and supervise visitation sessions.

Because hospitals and inpatient wards are open 24 hours a day, a psychiatric aide might be assigned to day, evening, night, or weekend shifts. To know what they need to do during a shift, an aide must first understand the clients’ routines. While daytime workers spend the majority of their time interacting with clients, an overnight aide may be in charge of checking in on sleeping residents and managing paperwork. Experienced and skilled aides are typically given a choice of shifts based on their preferences.

The requirements for becoming a psychiatric aide vary region and employer, but most employees have a high school diploma and have completed extensive classroom training before working with patients. New aides are given a thorough understanding of mental disorders and the types of patients they will encounter during their training. Trainees learn how to recognize warning signs that a client is in physical or mental distress, as well as what to do if this occurs. Trainees attend workshops to learn how to safely restrain out-of-control residents in settings where patients may become violent.

To become qualified to perform basic nursing services, some psychiatric aides complete additional training courses and pass certification exams. A psychiatric aide with the proper credentials can administer medication, perform regular blood pressure and pulse tests, and provide first aid if needed. A new psychiatric aide typically gains on-the-job skills working with experienced aides and nurses after completing classroom training.