Psychiatric technicians and aides care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. The two occupations are related, but technicians typically provide therapeutic care, and aides help patients in their daily activities and ensure a safe, clean environment.
Psychiatric technicians typically do the following:
Psychiatric aides typically do the following:
Many psychiatric technicians and aides work with patients who are severely developmentally disabled and need intensive care. Others work with patients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. Their work varies depending on the types of patients they work with.
Psychiatric technicians and aides work as part of a medical team, under the direction of physicians and alongside other healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and therapists. Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric technicians and aides can have a great deal of influence on patients' outlook and treatment.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition