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Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Fairfield, California

If you want to be a psychiatric aide, the Fairfield, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,200 people are currently employed as psychiatric aides in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 1,400 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for psychiatric aides are expected to grow by about 5.8%. Psychiatric aides generally assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

Psychiatric aides earn about $12 hourly or $25,570 annually on average in California and about $12 per hour or $26,560 per year on average nationally. Psychiatric aides earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in California and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Psychiatric aides work in a variety of jobs, including: mental retardation aide, nursing assistant, and health service worker.

The Fairfield area is home to sixteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fairfield where you can get a degree as a psychiatric aide. Given that the most common education level 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

Psychiatric Aide video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Fairfield include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • 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

Napa Valley College - Napa, CA

Napa Valley College, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558-6236. Napa Valley College is a medium sized college located in Napa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,404 students. Napa Valley College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated forty-nine and eight students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fairfield, California

Fairfield, California
Fairfield, California photo by Ryanloney

Fairfield is located in Solano County, California. It has a population of over 103,683, which has grown by 7.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fairfield, 143, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fairfield are valued at $197,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Fairfield, down from one hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fairfield are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 20.4% of Fairfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fairfield is 13.1%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fairfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fairfield is home to the Fairfield City Hall and the Dickson Hill Water Treatment Plant as well as Tabor Park and Sunrise Park. Shopping malls in the area include Geri Towne Shopping Center, Mission Village Shopping Center and Solano Mall Shopping Center.