1+ months


University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104


Req #: 169611
Job Location: Downtown Seattle,  Harborview Medical Center
Posting Date: 08/23/2019 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: $18.36 - $24.46 per hour 
Union Position: Yes
Shift: Alternate Work Shift 

As the region's only Level I Trauma center, Harborview Medical Center (HMC) is well known for innovations and excellence in trauma care and its centers of emphasis:  Trauma, Burn, Neurosciences, AIDS/STD, Center for Advanced Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (CARER), and mentally-and medically- vulnerable populations. In addition to the centers of emphasis, HMC serves a mission population for King County. Harborview employees are committed to the vital role the institution plays in the immediate community, as well as the entire Northwest region. HMC is owned by King County and managed by the University of Washington (UW) and serves as a training site for UWs School of Medicine. The UW is proud to be one of the nations premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

The Edward Thomas House Medical Respite is a unique medical respite harm reduction program that provides shelter care with embedded nursing, mental health, and case management services to an at-risk homeless population. Medical Respite is a part of the Healthcare for the Homeless Network and is supported by funds from multiple sources including King County Public Health, MIDD, and local hospitals. The Edward Thomas House admits patients referred from all King County area hospitals 7 days a week and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The program is operated by Harborview Medical Center (HMC) at an off-site location next to the Harborview emergency department.

Harborview Medical Center has an outstanding opportunity for a temporary/hourly, alternate shift, MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST 2. Under the supervision of the Mental Health Supervisor and the Charge RN, the Mental Health Specialist (MHS) uses a variety of clinical therapeutic modalities and skills to manage the milieu and provide direct patient care to all patients admitted to the Medical Respite Program. The MHS works with patients with complex medical, behavioral health, and homeless issues and has an advanced level of experience, knowledge and training to independently address critical patient care decisions and interpret the Involuntary Treatment Act. The MHS is responsible for ensuring the safety of the patients in the program, including the determination of immediate intervention in the case of medical or behavioral health emergency. The MHS contributes to the bio-psycho-social patient evaluation and assessment and collaborates with the interdisciplinary treatment team members in planning, implementing, and documenting patient care from admission to discharge for homeless patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The MHS participates in unit and departmental activities to promote delivery of quality patient care, effective problem solving, and communication, and for continued clinical development.

  • Performs basis physical care and other tasks delegated by supervisor or Charge RN.
  • Assists in maintaining safe, therapeutic milieu.
  • Contributes to ongoing psychosocial patient assessments.
  • Uses clinical expertise when initiating patient care plans with interdisciplinary team and implements plan of care.
  • Deescalates potentially dangerous situations and promotes stability on unit, maintains patient/staff safety and manages aggressive patient behavior.
  • Leads therapeutic individual and group sessions.
  • Determine when immediate intervention is needed and provides direction in emergencies.
  • Determines when further evaluation is required in order to involuntarily detain a patient.
  • Coordinated patient transfer to the emergency department when necessary and provides the emergency department team with documentation to evaluate if involuntary detention is warranted.
  • Participates in the training of staff, students, and volunteers in the unit.
  • May provide direction or assign tasks to other staff.
  • Recognizes and communicates abnormal findings to nursing and case management team.
  • Recognizes and communicates observations related to effects and side effects of medications and signs of substance intoxication, withdrawal, and over-sedation.
  • Adheres to HMC policies related to documenting all aspects of care.
  • Provides patient/family education regarding patient disposition.
  • Incorporates discharge planning into patient care
  • Communicates with providers, authorities and others for patients continued care including the emergency department.
  • Documents using the computerized medical record.
  • Stocks and organizes all areas of medical respite.  

    Bachelor's Degree AND one year as a Mental Health Specialist I, or equivalent. Experience may substitute for education on a year-for-year basis.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

    Must be eligible to obtain valid Affiliated Agency Counseling Certification and Nursing Assistant Registered from WA State Department of Health

    Passion for working with a homeless population. Experience with harm reduction.
  • Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

    The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

    The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or dso@uw.edu.


    Posted: 2019-12-05 Expires: 2020-02-02

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    MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST 2 (Temporary/Hourly)

    University of Washington
    Seattle, WA 98104
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