There are a variety of jobs available in psychiatric hospitals and offices, including positions as psychiatric aides, mental health assistants, psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists. There are certain qualities that a person must possess in order to be successful in a job at a psychiatric facility. Every worker that has direct patient contact must be emotionally, mentally and physically prepared for anything, as caring for mentally or emotionally disturbed individuals is unpredictable.
Work in a psychiatric facility, especially as a psychiatric aide or nurse, can be physically demanding, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aides and nurses spend many hours standing, walking and facing heavy workloads. They must be physically fit as they are also responsible for lifting patients, moving patients in and out of beds, and assisting patients in daily activities that can put stress on the back, arm, and leg muscles. In some cases, aides must be able to physically restrain patients whose illnesses causes violent behaviour. For their protection and the protection of other patients and workers, aides must be strong enough to safely restrain patients.
Emotional and Mental Qualities
Working with mentally or emotionally disabled patients takes certain mental and emotional qualities. Workers must be mature, emotionally stable, and have good communication skills, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compassion, sensitivity, and patience are also vital qualities when working in a psychiatric facility as often times healing is a long and difficult process for patients. The ability to work as a team and the desire to help people are needed everyday in the psychiatric field as it often takes a variety of workers to help one patient.
Psychiatric workers must be in good health and complete a background check. Anyone working with patients in a hospital or office setting may be exposed to anything from a minor infection to a major disease. By following proper precautions, infections and diseases can be avoided. A physical examination and lab testing is necessary prior to working in a psychiatric facility to ensure the safety of both the workers and patients.