Serratt intends to identify and describe current state regulatory requirements for psychiatric technicians and aides nationwide as a first step in examining staffing in acute care psychiatric hospitals. The study will evaluate current regulatory requirements such as registry, certification and standards for training and competency to ensure safe, high quality care is being provided to a vulnerable population.
“One in five Americans suffer with a mental illness,” said Serratt. “While not everyone with a mental illness will require acute psychiatric hospitalization, those who do receive most of their day-to-day care from unlicensed assistive personnel who are supervised by registered nurses. Regulations for unlicensed assistive personnel are in place to protect other vulnerable populations (such as people in nursing homes receiving federal reimbursement) but there has been little attention focused on those admitted into acute psychiatric facilities.”