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Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for psychiatric aides. There are currently 630 jobs for psychiatric aides in Washington and this is projected to grow by 20% to about 760 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for psychiatric aides are expected to grow by about 5.8%. In general, psychiatric aides 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 $15 per hour or $33,120 per year on average in Washington and about $12 hourly or $26,560 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for psychiatric aides are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Washington and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Psychiatric aides work in a variety of jobs, including: health service worker, psychiatric orderly, and nursing assistant.

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

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 Seattle 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

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom - Lakewood, WA

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98498-1999. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,632 students. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician which graduated twelve and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.