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Mental Health Worker I

  • Job ID: 932515042
  • Status: Full-Time
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • Hours: Days with rotation
  • Shift: Day Job
  • Facility: UPMC Altoona
  • Department: 3G Behavioral Health
  • Location: , Altoona PA
  • Union Position: Yes
  • Salary Range: $0 / hour


Mental Health Worker I
1.0 full-time Days with rotation (40 hours/week)
Union Date Posting: 8/11/2020

The Mental Health Worker I (MHW I) functions as part of the nursing team in providing for the care of patients on the Behavioral Health Services Inpatient Unit. Through the use of individual and group methods, the MHW I participates in the assessment, physical, and psychological treatment programs of the units. The MHW I also provides back-up services to the Behavioral Health Services Crisis Center (CCC). The position requires the ability to relate well to both individuals and social agencies.

  • Knowledgeable about types of patient conditions most commonly encountered and understands the psychological and physiological basis for the treatment delivered. Knowledgeable of mental health laws and commitments. Knowledgeable of all policies and procedures relevant to treatment of psychiatric patients.
  • Under the supervision of the staff nurse, participates in implementing the treatment plan and actively participates in the Treatment Planning Conference whenever possible.
  • Documents pertinent information on a patient's chart, being objective at all times. Notes recorded should reflect:A. The goals and recommended treatment stated in the treatment plan.B. The patient's participation in the therapeutic milieu of the unit.C. Any changes in behavior pattern which indicate growth and/or demonstrated need for reassessment and further treatment planning.
  • Encourages participation in therapeutic activities and provides Therapeutic Recreation (TR) programs when appropriate under the guidance of the TR staff.
  • Assists patients with bathing, dressing, feeding, etc. and identifying ways to utilize the daily living experience therapeutically. Takes and records patient's temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration as directed by the RN.Escorts patients to other departments for tests, etc. remaining with them and assisting when necessary.
  • Maintains effective care under conditions of unusual stress or confusion and consults with supervisor when direction or support is needed. Demonstrates flexibility in response to unexpected change in workload, emergencies, staffing, and scheduling changes.
  • Addresses patient with appropriate title as agreed upon by the patient and/or family/significant other. Maintains level of observation needed for patient protection. Sets limits and enforces policies of regulations in consultation with his/her supervisor and under his/her delegation.
  • Remains open to alternate methods of achieving goals so that time at work is utilized to the best advantage. Demonstrates knowledge and ability to adapt to clinical treatment and instructional aspect of care to all stages of the life cycle and to various states of health and disease.
  • Keeps staff nurse and other staff members informed about patient status and the unit situation throughout their shift through both written and oral reports. Knowledgeable of non-violent crisis interventions. Knowledgeable of policy for seclusion and restraint, monitors them for correct use and rotation, and documents according to standards.
  • Understands the special needs of patients with co-occurring disorders (mental health and substance abuse), and utilizes appropriate assessment and intervention techniques.
  • Provides effective and immediate intervention which might involve utilization and physical control if patient is unable to control own behavior and presents a danger to self or others.
  • Provides verbal report to oncoming shift MHW I or LPN regarding status on all patients on the unit. Assists with preparation of and testifies at commitment hearing when appropriate. Assists with Social Service duties for which one is qualified, as needed.
  • Provides group therapy to patients including the Family Orientation Group (FOG). Is available during visiting hours to assist in promoting more therapeutic interactions among family members.
  • Obtain pertinent information and assist R.N.'s in recording in designated log books or prepare proper forms as required: A. Patient log book - record name, admission date, etc. B. Face sheets C. Assemble and replenish charts as necessary. D. Patient belonging lists E. Observations/Rounds completed and documented F. Group notes
  • Establishes a relationship with the patient while obtaining data base information for admission.
  • Interacts daily with patients, providing treatment services and further assessing needs. Reports changes and progress to the staff nurse and incorporates same in the nursing care plan.
  • Complies with established occupational exposure policies.
  • Assists patients with discharge planning.
  • Supports unit based Continuous Performance Improvement (CPI) activities by actively participating in the CPI process.


  • Must have a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, or a related behavioral science field from an accredited university or college including a field placement in a related field. 
  • Must be able to work cooperatively with other members of the staff, agencies, and the general public in an effort to promote the growth and the development of Behavioral Health Services. 
  • Must be able to relate well and work effectively with people, assisting them in developing their capacities and resolving their specific problems.
  • Must be able to demonstrate the ability to translate theoretical knowledge at the operational level for self and others so that all may grow in their ability to function at a more optimal level.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
CPR required based on AHA standards that include both a didactic and skills demonstration component within 30 days of hire

  • Act 31 Clearance
  • Act 33 Child Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance
  • Basic Life Support or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

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