Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Lancaster, California
If you want to be a psychiatric aide, the Lancaster, 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 17% to 1,400 people employed. 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.
Psychiatric aides earn about $12 hourly or $25,570 annually on average in California and about $12 hourly or $26,560 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for psychiatric aides are not quite as good as in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in California, and not quite as good as the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Psychiatric aides work in a variety of jobs, including: psychiatric nursing aide, nursing assistant, and mental retardation aide.
There are 210 schools of higher education in the Lancaster area, including one within twenty-five miles of Lancaster where you can get a degree to start your career as a psychiatric aide. Given that the most common education level for psychiatric aides is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Lancaster 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.
- Home Health Aide. Provide routine, personal healthcare, such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, to elderly, or disabled persons in the home of patients or in a residential care facility.
- 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
Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA
Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated six, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Lancaster, California
Lancaster is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 145,469, which has grown by 22.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lancaster, 130, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Lancaster cost $144,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Lancaster, down from eight hundred six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Lancaster are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 15.8% of Lancaster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Lancaster is 17.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Lancaster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Lancaster is home to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter Number 5 and the Lancaster City Hall as well as Mays Field and Mariposa Park. Shopping centers in the area include Antelope Valley Center Shopping Center, Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center and West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Lancaster can choose from Best Western Antelope Valley I, Aloha Motel and Bonaire Motel for temporary stays in the area.