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Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for psychiatric aides in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 1,120 jobs for psychiatric aides in Maryland and this is projected to shrink 10% to about 1,010 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for psychiatric aides, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.8% over the next eight years. In general, psychiatric aides assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

Psychiatric aides earn approximately $13 per hour or $28,210 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $12 hourly or $26,560 per year. Earnings for psychiatric aides are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Maryland and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: developmental aide, neuropsychiatric aide, and charge aide.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a psychiatric aide, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Psychiatric aides usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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

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 Columbia 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated two and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has an associate's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated seven and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.