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PSYCHIATRIC AIDE SELECTION THROUGH PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS A Preliminary Report of the Screening of Applicants at the Arkansas State Hospital
Am J Psychiatry 1951;107:859-865.
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1. The duties of the psychiatric aide have been of a very routine nature in the past, and self-expression and initiative have not been encouraged. Under such conditions, the individual of dull normal intelligence with a tenth grade education has worked out best. We expect to remedy this situation by offering to the more intelligent aide an opportunity for further training and personal advancement in our 3 year School of Psychiatric Technology. The net result should be that the efficiency of the aide should be in direct proportion to his intelligence, educational development, and personality adjustment.2. The psychiatric aide is one of the most important figures on the care and treatment team in all psychiatric hospitals. The aide is with the patients on his ward more hours per day than any other individual in the treatment team and is thus in a position to know the patient better than most others in the hospital. The effectiveness of therapeutic procedures will be determined to a great extent by the competency of the aide, who is required to assume many duties that are becoming more and more of a professional nature. It is thus highly important that only well-integrated individuals be accepted into this profession, so as not to endanger further the health of the patients under their care, or of themselves.3. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is effective in eliminating psychopaths who apply for the position of psychiatric aide, but is ineffective in predicting the efficiency of psychiatric aides in the Arkansas State Hosptal with deviate scores in other categories of personality maladjustment. In cases that warrant a more thorough personality study, projective techniques may be used.4. A psychological screening program of applicants for positions as psychiatric aides can be carried on in most hospitals at a relatively small cost by administering psychological examinations to groups of applicants one day per week. This can be handled even in hospitals that employ part-time psychologists.

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