Behavioral health technicians observe patients, listen to their concerns, record their observations and report to mental health professionals about any unusual behavior. They can check vital signs such as temperature and heart rate; give medication under the direction of medical staff; and help with daily living activities such as eating, bathing and grooming. When a patient's mood or behavior changes, a technician must be able to assess whether it is positive, negative or potentially dangerous. He takes steps to modify the patient's actions or alerts medical professionals. Because patients who are mentally ill and emotionally disturbed can be unpredictable, they can present a potential danger to themselves and caretakers. Behavioral health technicians have a responsibility to maintain safety for themselves and their charges. This may be as simple as keeping patient files confidential and secure from unauthorized access. It may also involve restraining violent patients. In many case, the technician's ability to emotionally support patients, remain calm and professional, and use good interpersonal skills can defuse a volatile situation.
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