An average day usually consists of assisting consumers with daily living skills and personal care plans, ranging from getting dressed in the morning to using appropriate language when speaking to others. I schedule appointments and keep track of meds, drive consumers to day programs, and complete all paperwork necessary. This is a typical routine, but there are days which are not typical at all and that is where my job really kicks in. I have to crisis manage both consumers I provide for, which can be difficult but rewarding when situations are mediated and resolved.
Working in the field of mental health has certainly been educational; I have learned many new skills in how to relate to others and deal with conflicts. These skills are transferable to any job as well as personal life, making them very valuable. I have come to a better understanding of my own limits and expectations as well, which has proved beneficial in many ways.
Management is never perfect, regardless of the company you work for, and to expect that will be disappointing. However, I have had an excellent relationship with nearly all of the management I come into contact with and have been pleased at the level of communication. Open and honest communication is one of the most important things in workplace relationships, especially with your coworkers. The group of people I work with is a very tight-knit team which has developed a comfortable work environment that provides consistency and reliability.
Probably the hardest part of my job is managing stress at a healthy level, as my work environment can be in – more... crisis mode frequently. Finding ways to eliminate and reduce stress has been challenging, but having a healthy personal life affects this greatly.
There is no doubt in my mind that the most enjoyable part of my job occurs when a consumer learns how to overcome developmental disabilities or makes great progress in meeting PCP goals. These events are exciting and rewarding, as I have a huge part in how successful the consumers are. Working with them in a residential setting on a daily basis makes me a big part of their lives and it is extremely rewarding to know I had a hand in helping them lead healthier and more productive lives. – less