Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Anchorage, Alaska
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for psychiatric aides in the Anchorage, Alaska area. Currently, 120 people work as psychiatric aides in Alaska. This is expected to grow by 11% to 130 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for psychiatric aides, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.8% over the next eight years. Psychiatric aides generally assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.
A person working as a psychiatric aide can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $35,990 yearly on average in Alaska and about $12 per hour or $26,560 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for psychiatric aides are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Alaska and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: developmental aide, mental health worker, and psychiatric orderly.
There are four schools of higher education in the Anchorage area, including one within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can get a degree to start your career as a psychiatric aide. The most common level of education for psychiatric aides is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a psychiatric aide if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Psychiatric Aide
In general, psychiatric aides assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.
Psychiatric aides monitor patients in order to uncover unusual behavior, and report observations to professional staff. They also organize and encourage patient participation in social and recreational activities. Equally important, psychiatric aides have to participate in recreational efforts with patients, including card games or television viewing. They are often called upon to accompany clients to and from wards for medical and dental treatments, shopping trips, and religious and recreational events. They are expected to furnish patients with assistance in bathing and grooming, demonstrating these skills as needed. Finally, psychiatric aides aid patients in becoming accustomed to hospital routine.
Every day, psychiatric aides are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to evaluate problems as they arise.
It is important for psychiatric aides to serve meals, and feed patients needing assistance or persuasion. They are often called upon to interview patients upon admission and record data. They also clean and disinfect rooms and furnishings to maintain a safe and orderly environment. They are sometimes expected to execute nursing duties such as administering medications, measuring vital signs, collecting specimens and drawing blood samples. Somewhat less frequently, psychiatric aides are also expected to furnish mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients with routine physical, emotional, psychological or rehabilitation care under the direction of nursing and medical staff.
They also have to be able to work as part of a team that may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and social staff And finally, they sometimes have to accompany clients to and from wards for medical and dental treatments, shopping trips, and religious and recreational events.
Like many other jobs, psychiatric aides must have a strong concern for others and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Anchorage include:
- Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
- Medical Assistant. Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
- Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Psychiatric Aide Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated forty-seven and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.
Licensing agency: Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development
Address: Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing, Board of Psychologist/Psychological Assoc Examiners, P.O. Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Phone: (907) 465-5470
Website: Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing Board of Psychologist/Psychological Assoc Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.