To obtain a job as a residential treatment specialist, the requirements are usually a bachelor's degree or five years of experience working in a similar position. Additionally, one needs knowledge of word processing, such as typing and basic computer functions, and the ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing. You must be at least 21 years of age, and typically a valid drivers license is required.
The residential treatment specialist must be sensitive, receptive, and mature enough to be neither upset by the clients, nor cause the clients further adjustment difficulties. You should also be enthusiastic about working with a very diverse group, which includes people with disabilities. You can expect to deal with at-risk patients, either those with substance abuse problems, psychiatric problems, or behavior issues. The residential treatment specialist is responsible for providing physical care and social and moral guidance. You can expect to assist clients in the following areas: treatment planning, crisis intervention, health and medical supervision, counseling skills, limit setting, and reinforcement of daily routine.
Strict confidentiality about patient information is enforced. There is 24-hour availability for this position, as residential treatment specialists are needed to work overnight hours as well. There are some physical demands to the job, which include frequent ascending and descending of stairs, regular use of hands requiring dexterity, the ability to lift up to 20 pounds, and the ability to drive if needed.
Residential Treatment Specialist Tasks
Develop, review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans.
Complete and maintain accurate records and reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, and other required information.
Intervene as advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
Counsel children or teens, individually and in group sessions, to assist in behavioral, psychiatric and overcoming trauma.
Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status.