Mental Health Specialist I - Psychiatric Crisis Department

Nationwide Children's Hospital - Columbus, OH

Responsible for performing basic supportive, Trauma Informed care to specified patients/families under the direction and supervision of an RN/Care Manager. Responsibilities include the provision of a safe and therapeutic milieu, crisis intervention and assistance with activities of daily living. Collects, documents, and reports data to the RN Care Manager but does not interpret data. Demonstrates competence in providing age-appropriate, Trauma Informed care and service for pediatric patients. 


1. Participates with the interdisciplinary team in specialized patient care activities.

  • Provides encouragement support and reinforces positive behavior with a therapeutic, calm approach while maintaining therapeutic boundaries, setting limits, and utilizing de-escalation techniques, including physical intervention skills.
  • Demonstrates ability to identify and record relevant information for the most common diagnostic groups including:
    • Major Depression (with and without psychotic features).
    • Bipolar Affective Disorder (including manic, depressed and mixed episode).
    • Psychotic Disorder (Including Schizophrenia & Subtypes)
    • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders.
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    • Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
  • Effectively establishes therapeutic relationships with patients and families on the unit.
  • Utilizes Trauma Informed Care philosophies when interacting with patients and families.
  • Leads, or co-leads and/or reinforces teaching of symptom management, including relaxation techniques, anger management, therapeutic goal-setting, problem solving, coping skills, etc.
  • Assists with Admission & Discharge Process as directed by unit RN. Completes unit/room orientation; reinforces information given to patients.
  • Utilizes therapeutic, Trauma Informed intervention techniques before, during and after the time of crisis to support safe patient de-escalation.
  • Assists with physical crisis intervention techniques and physical restraint during specific crisis situations per NCH policy.
  • Accounts for patients’ whereabouts on the unit throughout the entire shift.
  • Performs constant attendant duties 

2. Collects, documents, and reports the following data:

  • Vital signs
  • Temperature (oral, axillary,); pulse (apical and radial); respirations; blood pressure using the non-invasive automatic blood pressure machine.
  • Heights, weights, and abdominal girth.
  • Oxygen saturation.
  • Intake and Output 

3. Provides basic supportive care:

  • Hygiene
  • Bed making and keep patient room clean and orderly
  • Mobility: Assists with transfer (wheelchair, etc.) Ambulates patients
  • Cares for patients in restraints and documents observations per policy.
  • Promotes general patient safety. 

4. Documents all data collected and care provided. 

Role responsibilities and accountable for:

  • Accepts delegation from RN/Care Manager. Demonstrates time and resource management. Demonstrates appropriate use of hospital resources:
    • Incidental personal use of NCH information systems (including the telephone) is permissible so long as the usage does not interfere with job performance, does not deny other users access to the system resources, does not incur significant costs, and is allowed by the department head or manager.
    • Users may not use computing resources for their own personal or financial gain. Viewing materials that are obscene, objectionable or that put NCH at undue risk is prohibited unless it is a documented part of the user’s duties and approved by the manager or department head. 
  • Follows hospital policies and procedures.
  • Follows HIPPA Guidelines 
  • Participates in unit/program/area quality improvement activities.
  • Performs general unit tasks (answers phone, call lights, admission/discharge functions, etc.) 


  • Performs regular checks of the patient environment to maintain safety.
  • Dusts surface areas on the unit/area.
  • Cleans the unit/area refrigerators (conference room).
  • Changes needle boxes.
  • Empties non-routine trash and linen bags.
  • Assists unit in maintaining Joint Commission readiness (keeping hallways clear, linen carts covered etc).
  • Completes unit specific environmental duties as assigned. 


  • Acts as a preceptor of orientation and training of other Mental Health Technician (MHT) staff.
  • Provides peer input for performance appraisals at the request of the manager or RN.
  • Identifies own learning needs, seek assistance and attend educational programs as needed.
  • Attends annual/mandatory in-services within designation time frame.
  • Participates in educational activities offered by the unit/area/division. 


  • Must be able to exercise self-control in potentially volatile situations such as being verbally or physically confronted in a threatening or aggressive manner. Must be able to work and concentrate amidst distractions such as noise, conversation and foot traffic. Must be flexible and not easily frustrated in dealing with differences of opinion.
  • Provides age-appropriate care (based on growth and development principles) to patients and families.
  • Participates as a member of the patient care team by assisting others.
  • Participates in unit conferences as requested.
  • Within role expectations, meets the standards of patient care and performs within the policies and procedures of Children's Hospital, Inc. and the Division of Patient Care Services.
  • Demonstrates promptness and consistency in meeting scheduled work commitments. 


  • High school graduate or equivalent.
  • Students in Bachelors of Psychology, Social Work, Nursing or related field can apply after half of their undergrad program has been completed OR One year of comparable experience in a hospital setting within the past 3 years.
  • Good written and verbal communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
  • Neat appearance, good grooming and professional manner.
  • Must be CPR trained (American Heart Association CPR for Family and Friends) course or Health Care Provider course or Red Cross equivalent. 


  • Must be able to see, hear, stand, walk, speak, read, and perform basic math calculations (add, subtract, multiply and divide), and perform manual tasks with or without accommodation, and care for oneself with little or no difficulty.
  • Applies the principles of body mechanics in lifting or moving patients and/or equipment.
  • Must be able to independently lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Must be able to move or reposition patients of any weight or size with the assistance of another person(s) and/or equipment. 

*The above list of duties is intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by individuals assigned to this classification. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive list of duties performed by the individual so classified, nor is it intended to limit or modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. 


Send resume to:

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Dr.
Columbus, OH 43205