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Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in New Orleans, Louisiana

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for psychiatric aides in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. There are currently 1,930 jobs for psychiatric aides in Louisiana and this is projected to grow by 7% to 2,070 jobs 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 $9 per hour or $19,710 per year on average in Louisiana and about $12 per hour or $26,560 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Psychiatric aides earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Louisiana and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Psychiatric aides work in a variety of jobs, including: charge attendant, mental health assistant, and psychiatric attendant.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can study to be a psychiatric aide, among thirty-two schools of higher education total in the New Orleans area. 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 New Orleans 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

Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus - Metairie, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus, 5200 Blair Dr., Metairie, LA 70001-5605. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus is a small college located in Metairie, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,218 students. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus has a one to two year program in Health Aide.

Louisiana Technical College-West Jefferson Campus - Harvey, LA

Louisiana Technical College-West Jefferson Campus, 475 Manhattan Blvd, Harvey, LA 70058. Louisiana Technical College-West Jefferson Campus is a small college located in Harvey, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 276 students. Louisiana Technical College-West Jefferson Campus has a one to two year program in Health Aide which graduated five students in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus - Thibodaux, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus, 1425 Tiger Dr, Thibodaux, LA 70301. Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus is a small college located in Thibodaux, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 388 students. Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Health Aide which graduated forty-one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus - Reserve, LA

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus, 181 Regala Pk Rd, Reserve, LA 70084. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus is a small college located in Reserve, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 939 students. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Health Aide which graduated thirteen and four students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.