The job of the psychiatric aide is work with mentally impaired and emotionally disturbed individuals under the direction of a nursing and medical staff. The position requires much compassion, lots of determination, and a strong desire to help others. Since psychiatric aides spend so much time with the patients, it is their job to be the first to notice any behavioral changes and report these changes to the doctors. Psychiatric aides work on teams which may include a mix of psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, and social workers.

Psychiatric aides work in a hospital setting and provide basic care to the patient. Some job duties may include helping the patients eat, bathe, and dress. Aides are also responsible for assisting with educational and recreational activities.

Other common work tasks may include:

  • Recording and maintaining records regarding patient condition, behavior, and activity.
  • Administering medications and monitoring vital signs.
  • Communicating with caregivers and family members regarding patients’ treatment plans and therapy.
  • Setting up patient care equipment.
  • Entertaining and encouraging patients to participate in activities.

Psychiatric Aide Salary Information

The salary of a psychiatric aide varies widely from state to state. However, the average salary hovers around $24,000 per year. The salary range for psychiatric aides tends to be between $20,300 and $28,900 per year in most states.

Psychiatric Aide Qualifications

Those interested in becoming a psychiatric aide may only need a high school diploma. Usually, there is no work experience required, since job responsibilities can be learned quickly with on the job training. However, most employers do employ some mandatory on the job training program after hire. A bachelors degree in psychology is preferable.