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What is a Typical Day for a Registered Behavioral Technician?

Image of a therapy situation for our FAQ What is a Typical Day for a Registered Behavioral Technician?

A person who plans to earn a degree in behavior science, behavioral health, psychology, social work or a related field may want to know, “What is a typical day for a registered behavioral technician?” A registered behavioral technician typically works in psychiatric or substance abuse treatment centers. Understanding the daily job activities of a registered behavioral technician could help a person decide if this is the right career path for their skills, aptitude and preferences.

Observe Patients

One of the primary activities performed by a registered behavioral technician is patient observation. The technician observes patients and records their activities. Unusual habits or behaviors may be reported to nurses or physicians. The technicians also listen to the concerns of patients. For example, if the patient’s food is consistently delivered late, cold or in a mess on the tray, the registered behavioral technician should take it seriously and take action in order to correct the problem. Observing patients helps the medical team understand what is normal or usual behavior for each individual.

Lead Patients in Recreational Activities

Registered behavioral technicians lead patients in recreational activities. For example, they might coordinate an arts and crafts session so that patients can draw pictures or make greeting cards. They might set up a movie for the patients to watch, or get out a cart with games and puzzles for patients to use. The technicians might also lead therapeutic activities, such as short exercise sessions or singing songs.

Help Patients With Activities of Daily Living

A registered behavioral technician will also spend some of their work tie helping patients with the activities of daily living. This may include helping a patient get undressed and take a shower. It may also include helping a patient get to the toilet. Some patients may have physical as well as mental disabilities, so they may not be able to ambulate on their own. Some patients may need help with eating. The technician may need to cut the patient’s food into small bites or even put the food onto a spoon and feed it to the patient. Registered behavioral technicians may assist with the meal process from start to finish, such as taking the person’s preferences for an entree and drink and helping with the cleanup after the meal.

Assist in Medical Care

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, another typical daily activity for a registered behavioral technician is helping with the medical care of patients. Under the direction of nurses or physicians, the technician may give patients their medicine. They may monitor the patient’s vital signs. If a patient becomes violent against others or threatens self-harm, the registered behavioral technician may assist with their restraint. When a patient is ready for release, the technician may assist with packing their belongings and inventorying their items.

Familiarity with what is required of a registered behavioral technician could facilitate the decision-making process for earning a degree and applying for a job. Knowing what to expect on the job is also helpful for a person who might feel a little nervous about their first day of work. Understanding the answer to, “What is a typical day for a registered behavioral technician?” gives a person a chance to choose a job setting and career path that are well-suited to their skills and strengths.

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