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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 347L
Category: Social Services

Class Series Concept

As the primary caregiver in a civil center at a hospital or community residential treatment facility (RTF), provides patient care under the direction of a Registered Nurse. Mental Health Technicians utilize their teamwork, facilitation, and de-escalation skills to maintain a safe and therapeutic milieu with patients who have significant diagnoses of mental illness.

With the diverse patient population, work in each ward or facility will vary considerably; all are under the auspices of providing patient care utilizing the principles of trauma informed care and the recovery model.


Positions assist with the care of mentally ill patients in a state hospital or community residential treatment facility.

Distinguishing Characteristics

In a training capacity, positions at this level are required to learn and complete the basic professional duties under close supervision of a Registered Nurse. Positions assist higher-level Mental Health Technicians with performing patient care, patient therapeutic interaction, activities of daily living, escorting, transporting, monitoring, de-escalation, and patient activities.

Typical Work

Assists with environmental and safety rounds at intervals determined by patient population, physician’s order, or operational need;
Assists with continuously monitoring patients for changes in behavior and for symptoms of physical illness. Reports findings to the Registered Nurse and document findings in the medical record. Carries out the plan of care as assigned;
Therapeutically engages with mentally ill, civilly committed patients throughout the work shift;
Monitors patients during escorting, recreational activities and therapeutic activities occurring off the ward and patient care unit;
Assists patients with activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, mobility, toileting, maintenance of living space) and encourage them to perform these activities;
Monitors patients during medication passes and after medication passes as assigned;
Responds to medical/psychiatric/environmental emergencies per facility protocol unit codes;
Participates in training drills (fire drills, CPR, etc.);
Submits work orders as needed;
Escorts patients to appointments and activities on and off-facility grounds;
Participates in in service education program;
Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: hospital or facility procedures and processes; de-escalation processes; blood-borne pathogen protocols, CPR, non-violent crisis intervention, seclusion/restraint procedures, patient rights, trauma-informed care principles, preventing patient abuse/neglect, computer skills.
Ability to: interact therapeutically with patients and professionally and respectfully with co-workers at all times, take direction from Registered Nurses and other staff; exhibit resilience and be willing to interact with and listen to verbally and physically aggressive patients; observe multiple patients and teammates the entire work shift to ensure the work environment remains safe; work closely with members of the ward/living unit team to effectively and creatively move patients towards their treatment goals; be flexible in moving quickly from one task to another; have compassion and concern for patients and treat patients and staff with respect, kindness and consideration.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.
Positions in this job classification require a current, unincumbered Washington State Nurse Assistant Registration, Nursing Assistant Certified certification or a current unincumbered Washington State Certified Medical Assistant certification.

Desirable Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent.

Class Specification History

New class Effective May 28, 1986.
Revised November 14, 1986: Code change (formerly 3881).
Revised minimum qualifications: 4-20-00.
New class code: (formerly 56650) effective July 1, 2007
Salary adjustment and revisions to the definition: adopted June 30, 2017, effective July 1, 2017.
Revised class specification; added class series concept and distinguishing characteristic, revised definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities and desired qualifications; salary adjustment. Adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.