Hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities typically hire personnel under the title "mental health worker" to assist doctors and nurses with the daily mental health duties. The mental health worker assists in patient monitoring, physical assistance, and performing other general tasks for doctors and nurses. They are in contact with patients and must demonstrate empathy and patience, as well as be adaptable to a variety of situations. While specific tasks required of mental health workers vary by employer, these individuals generally do not possess a medical degree or registered nursing certification.
In many care facilities, mental health workers also fulfill a patient supervisory role. In elder care, for instance, some patients may need to have mobility monitored for their own safety; mental health workers may assist in this area. Mental health workers may also assist with activities, meal services, and general patient care and cleanliness.
Because mental health workers' responsibilities vary by employer, the educational requirements for this position may vary widely. Typically, a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement for a mental health worker, but many hospitals and clinics prefer at least an associate’s degree in a related field as well. Mental health workers' schedules vary by employer, and some health care providers require shift work.
Mental Health Worker Tasks
Care for patients with mental illnesses or disabilities.
Supervise individual patients and/or groups in living or therapeutic situations.
Keep records, documentation and patient reports.