Mental Health Assistant Career

Job Description: Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff. May assist with daily living activities, lead patients in educational and recreational activities, or accompany patients to and from examinations and treatments. May restrain violent patients. Includes psychiatric orderlies.

*A job as a Mental Health Assistant falls under the broader career category of Psychiatric Aides. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Mental Health Assistant Career

What Mental Health Assistants do:

  • Complete physical checks and monitor patients to detect unusual or harmful behavior and report observations to professional staff.
  • Record and maintain patient information, such as vital signs, eating habits, behavior, progress notes, treatments, or discharge plans.
  • Provide patients with assistance in bathing, dressing, or grooming, demonstrating these skills as necessary.
  • Participate in recreational activities with patients, including card games, sports, or television viewing.
  • Organize, supervise, or encourage patient participation in social, educational, or recreational activities.
  • Serve meals or feed patients needing assistance or persuasion.
  • Restrain or aid patients as necessary to prevent injury.
  • Maintain patients' restrictions to assigned areas.
  • Work as part of a team that may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, or social workers.
  • Provide mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients with routine physical, emotional, psychological, or rehabilitation care under the direction of nursing or medical staff.
  • Clean and disinfect rooms and furnishings to maintain a safe and orderly environment.
  • Aid patients in becoming accustomed to hospital routine.
  • Accompany patients to and from wards for medical or dental treatments, shopping trips, or religious or recreational events.
  • Perform nursing duties, such as administering medications, measuring vital signs, collecting specimens, or drawing blood samples.
  • Interview patients upon admission and record information.
  • Complete administrative tasks, such as entering orders into computer, answering telephone calls, or maintaining medical or facility information.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Mental Health Assistant

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