Behavioral Health Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a behavioral health technician job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a behavioral health technician. Feel free to use our behavioral health technician job description template to produce your own behavioral health technician job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a behavioral health technician.
Who is a Behavioral Health Technician?
A Behavioral Health Technician assists mental health experts and other medical specialists in treating patients with behavioral issues, cognitive difficulties, or mental illnesses; they treat people with developmental disabilities, mental health concerns, or neurodegenerative diseases.
Behavioral Health Technicians also assist patients struggling with eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, addictions to alcohol or gambling, and substance misuse. They spend most of their time talking with patients to assist them in managing their symptoms and enhancing their quality of life, which frequently entails carrying out tests, creating treatment regimens, putting those plans into action, and tracking development over time. They should collaborate closely with the patient to handle the recommended treatment plan.
Behavioral Health Technicians’ jobs include helping patients with self-care and daily life activities. They create a supportive environment by promoting positive behaviors and discouraging bad ones to help patients improve their skills. Another crucial aspect of the work is tracking and reporting on the patient’s progress with various interventions.
As part of your responsibilities as a behavioral technician, which includes assisting with the implementation of treatment plans, you should be able to take vital signs, administer medicine, and diagnose and manage mood swings in children and adults. Learn how to communicate with patients’ relatives and have a general understanding of prevalent behavioral and mental health disorders. You will be in charge of keeping an eye on the patient’s conduct, adhering to the treatment plan prescribed by a mental health professional, and reporting any issues or progress. You must perform clerical work such as writing reports and evaluations, responding to emails and other communications, organizing schedules, and preserving records. You must ensure a patient receives emotional support and is always in a secure and healthy environment.
Behavioral health technicians participate in recreational activities with patients for enjoyment, pleasure, or relaxation. They help patients adjust to hospital life and urge them to engage in social and recreational activities that will aid their recovery. While holding inpatient detox and crisis programs, they facilitate psychoeducational, therapeutic groups, and recreational activities for adults and kids. They give patients who are developmentally, emotionally, or mentally impaired personal care and help with daily chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, and other personal care. They note daily progress reports and ensure patients work on developing their self-care and independent living skills. Assisting clients with their personal care needs, such as the essentials for bathing, oral hygiene, shampoos, linens, and meals, is also part of what they do. They also provide personal care and assistance with household chores like cleaning, buying, cooking, feeding, and bathing.
The rising incidence of mental health problems is a trend that is fueling the demand for additional mental health experts. There is a need for experts to assist patients in managing their symptoms as more people are receiving diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and other disorders. Because they have the education and expertise necessary to offer assistance and therapy to those struggling, behavioral health technicians are in a position to benefit from this trend. They can become even more useful resources for those that need assistance by earning certification in particular fields, such as depression or addiction.
There is a growing emphasis on prevention as the mental health area develops. As a result, behavioral health technicians will need to acquire the knowledge and abilities to assist patients in avoiding future issues. Due to this move toward prevention, mental health technicians will need to be able to recognize potential issues and offer the required assistance to patients to help them avoid concerns in the future. Additionally, they need to know about the most recent studies and medical practices.
The mental health business is significantly impacted by the trend of placing more focus on self-care. People are turning to experts like behavioral health technicians for assistance as they become more and more aware of the value of caring for themselves. By mastering self-care, behavioral health technicians can profit from this trend. They can achieve this by being knowledgeable about the various self-care practices available; such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. Additionally, they can learn how to assist others in choosing the best self-care strategy.
Work environments for behavioral health technicians include clinics, community mental health facilities, hospitals, and private practices. Although most of them work full-time, some may work nights or weekends to meet the schedules of their patients. Working with someone who is frequently going through a mental health crisis can be challenging. As behavioral health technicians help people improve their lives, it may also be rewarding.
Behavioral Health Technician Job Description
What is a behavioral health technician job description? A behavioral health technician job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a behavioral health technician in an organization. Below are the behavioral health technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a behavioral health technician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
A Behavioral health technician performs a wide range of administrative-related tasks, including admitting and releasing patients, and tasks involving direct patient care. Additional tasks that behavioral health technicians might carry out include administering tests and performing other administrative tasks.
- Deliver the treatment regimens for the patients, which may include giving the patients their prescriptions.
- Encourage patients to engage in therapeutic and leisure activities.
- Ensure a secure and encouraging atmosphere for patients.
- Execute personal treatment regimens that have been prescribed by medical providers.
- Keep an eye on patients and write down your findings.
- Observe and document the patients’ vital signs.
- Monitor and record the actions of the patients.
- Pay attention to patients as they express their worries and discuss them with the medical personnel.
- Remove threatening objects from around patients to keep them from hurting themselves.
- Support them emotionally.
- Uphold patients’ privacy.
- A high school diploma
- College or University degree
- Experience working with individuals with mental health disorders.
- First aid and CPR certification or willingness to be trained
- Experience as a caretaker with children and adults
To succeed in their career, behavioral health technicians require the following skills:
- Empathy: is the capacity to comprehend and empathize with the emotions of others. The ability to engage with patients who are feeling various emotions can be crucial for behavioral health technicians. A patient might be upset about their diagnosis or frustrated about their inability to restrain their emotions; for instance, a patient can learn to understand their feelings and develop excellent coping mechanisms with the help of an empathic. Since they interact with patients frequently, they should have compassion and a desire to assist others. This skill enables you to encourage one-on-one dialogue with people who are struggling with despair, suicidal or homicidal thoughts as they feel comfortable talking with you.
- Interpersonal capabilities: As they frequently offer continuing care for patients, behavioral health technicians and aides should get to know them better. Developing such a rapport helps them diagnose and treat their patients. Mental health patients are already vulnerable, so it would be unwise not to know how to relate well.
- Observability: Technicians must monitor patients and be alert to any behavioral changes. They must be able to spot patient discomfort or trouble for their safety and that of their patients. When they take these patients out of the hospital, maybe to receive air or exercise a little, they should ensure dangerous tools that can serve as threats are far from them.
- Patience: It can be emotionally hard to work with mentally ill people. Psychiatric assistants and technicians must maintain composure under pressure. They need to control their emotions and be patient with them since it can be frustrating.
- Physically fit: Patients might require being lifted, moved, and occasionally restrained by behavioral health technicians and mental health specialists, so they have to be physically fit to do their job well. Sometimes they are to stand for long hours, so their stamina has to be on point.
- Active listening: As a behavioral health technician, you should have to pay attention to a patient and comprehend their wants. You might have to listen to them and their family as they talk about their mental health issues. When you listen to them, you can better comprehend their needs and create a therapy strategy that addresses them.
- Communication: The capacity to convey one’s ideas and thoughts to another through emotions, words, or deeds is known as communication. Behavioral health technicians interact with patients, other healthcare providers, and patients’ families. They contact patients’ insurance companies to ensure that patients receive the care they require. Behavioral health technicians can establish rapport with patients and their families by having strong communication skills, which helps them provide better care. They facilitate provider communication about treatment plans and patient improvements. To be successful in this career, you must be able to communicate with patients and your co-workers. You can join hands with other medical personnel to lead therapy groups, such as those for process, relapse prevention, anger management, and family (non-violent communication).
- Flexibility: The capacity to change course in the face of adversity is flexibility. Because of the unexpected nature of their work environment, behavioral health technicians need to be proficient in this skill. For instance, a patient’s abrupt shift in mood or conduct can necessitate the technician to change how they handle the situation.
- Non-judgemental: Since a person’s mental health frequently affects their behavior, a behavioral health technician must be non-judgemental; this implies that they can comprehend and accept someone else’s behavior without passing judgment. For instance, if a patient has a mental health problem, a technician should be able to assist them without criticizing their behavior. They should not make them feel less of themselves as they are already battling a lot.
- Crisis Management: The state of being able to manage a crisis is called crisis management. A behavioral health technician monitors patients’ health, responds to a crisis, supervises, and facilitates scheduled group activities and education (for rehabilitation patients). They provide de-escalation and crisis management in psychological and medical emergencies while maintaining a safe and effective environment. They also develop solutions for people going through severe psychiatric problems and apply crisis intervention and behavior modification methods in dire circumstances. They watch out for patients’ actions and record pertinent information.
- CPR: As a behavioral health technician, it is compulsory to know how to apply first aid, give CPR, and get trained in the prevention and management of aggressive behavior. Chest compressions are used during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, (CPR) to assist a patient with breathing. This engineered ventilation maintains brain function and controls blood flow throughout the body. In an emergency, CPR is used to save lives.
How to Become a Behavioral Health Technician
Behavioral health technicians must have a path to follow to become one, so below shows us the path:
Education: First, obtain a high school diploma, then enroll in a community college, technical institute, or university to study behavioral health technician, psychiatry, psychology, biology, and other related fields. Because of the high educational requirements, a bachelor’s degree in any of these fields may help you stand out from other job candidates. This comprehensive education will also equip you to give the patients you will be caring for treatment. Additionally, if you have more education than the absolute requirement, you may be eligible for a better income. The majority of psychiatric technicians hold a postsecondary certificate. They frequently have postsecondary nursing education and experience as licensed practical nurses or nursing assistants. Programs for behavioral health technicians may incorporate cooperative learning opportunities or supervised work experience where they receive academic credit for organized job experience.
Training: Behavioral health technicians and aides usually have a short period of on-the-job training before they can work without direct supervision. Working with patients while closely supervised by a seasoned technician or assistant may be part of the training process. Additionally, workshops, lectures, or in-service training are open to them. Some subjects in your coursework may cover abnormal psychology, trauma psychology, counseling theories, cultural and social diversity in behavioral health, human development, and family dynamics. Later on, you could choose to obtain voluntary certification. Although certification is not necessary to start working in the area, it may help you land higher-level, better-paying employment at the facility of your choice. With a certificate, you could be seen as a paraprofessional with exceptional skills dedicated to providing top-notch patient care.
Where to Work as a Behavioral Health Technician
- Homeless shelters and outreach organizations
- Home health aide agencies
- Mental health facilities
- Nursing homes
- Residential substance abuse treatment facilities
- Schools and universities
- Psychiatric divisions in general hospitals and the military
- Detention centers
- Drug and alcohol abuse programs
Behavioral Health Technician Salary Scale
Behavioral health technicians earn around $53,600 annually in the United States. The salary range is between $36711 and $71500, then a bit more or less. Their salary depends on factors such as; qualifications, company, location, skills, and more.