Career and Education Opportunities for Psychiatric Aides in Huntington, West Virginia
If you want to be a psychiatric aide, the Huntington, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,520 jobs for psychiatric aides in West Virginia and this is projected to grow 10% to about 1,670 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.
Income for psychiatric aides is about $9 per hour or $19,040 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $12 hourly or $26,560 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as psychiatric aides in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: mental retardation aide, health service worker, and mental health technician.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Huntington area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntington where you can get a degree to start your career as a psychiatric aide. The most common level of education for psychiatric aides is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Huntington 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
Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV
Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Health Aide.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.