A psychiatric technician is a mental health professional, normally working under the direction of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. They provide hands-on direct care to developmentally or emotionally disabled people, as well as those diagnosed with a mental illnesses such as psychosis; or a brain disease such as dementia. They are employed in public and private hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Psychiatric technicians are trained in general and abnormal psychology, and in pharmacology which helps the technician learn to understand and safely administer medications. They assist in the implementation of various options, including psychoanalytic, somatic, behavioral, humanistic and/or psychopharmaceutical treatments of mental illness.
Psychiatric Technicians are relied upon to report changes in patient mental or physical health, as well as problems, issues, and/or concerns with patient reactions to medications being used. They may be called upon to consult with and counsel clients regarding the therapies and treatment options (including medication, behavioral interventions, counseling and group or individual therapy). Their job often includes recordkeeping for and monitoring of patients receiving medication; and they may be expected to keep up-to-date on safety issues with the medications used, changing practices regarding dosage requirements, and new medications being used in their field.
In the United States, some states license professional psychiatric technicians. These include Arkansas, California, Colorado, and Kansas.
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