Mt Gretna, PA | Behavioral Health | Tracking Code: 88807

Access Center Counselor - Bachelor's level - Evenings

Michelle Dermes
Michelle Dermes
Sr. Talent Acquisition Consultant

Full-time, Evenings

Job Description:

Assists with security and client behavioral management and provide crisis intervention services throughout the Mt. Gretna facility, facilitate the admissions process, and serve as a resource about internal and external emergency response services.


Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Responds to behavioral emergencies throughout the WellSpan Philhaven system as requested by the Director of Access, Director of Nursing, Coordinator of MBMT or their designees in order to provide both physical and crisis intervention support. Responds as member of “Green Staff” when this situation is announced.
  2. Maintains certification in TCI and extensive knowledge of other behavioral management techniques. Assists in behavioral management emergencies throughout the campus.
  3. Maintains an awareness of campus security issues, implements security policies, conducts walking security rounds and campus security motor vehicle patrols as scheduled, and communicates with other WellSpan Philhaven staff as necessary.
  4. Provides support and acts as a resource for the clinical management team of the unit to which he/she is responding for behavioral emergencies. Works collaboratively with unit managers/staff to assist the unit in managing their crisis situation in a manner that promotes client and employee safety.
  5. Serves as an initial contact for internal emergencies, administrative concerns, and public relations issues, and directs these contacts to the appropriate WellSpan Philhaven staff.
  6. In the absence of the Director of Access, Access Managers, Director of Safety or In House Supervisors takes the lead in responses to behavioral emergencies and safety concerns in non-clinical areas of the hospital.
  7. Participates in the management of behavioral crises including 1:1 observation, de-escalation, seclusion, physical restraints, response team intervention and team crisis intervention.
  8. Participates in the pre-planning of behavioral interventions to help avert or better manage behavioral crises.
  9. Provides effective feedback, coaching, and mentoring to assist in professional development of staff regarding milieu management and safety.
  10. Supports program staff by assisting with post crisis response through re-stabilization interventions and team debriefings following a behavioral crisis event.
  11. Triages requests for services providing prompt assistance to all requests in relation to their urgency.
  12. Reviews and screens referrals for possible program placements, coordinates data gathering to determine appropriateness of referrals for acceptance following program admission guidelines and procedures.
  13. Maintains an accurate and up-to-date awareness of WellSpan Philhaven programs and services, and provides this information to clients as requested.
  14. Maintains an awareness of community resources and provides this information to clients as requested.
  15. As necessary consults with the program clinical team, nurse, and physician to decide on acceptance of referrals as directed by admission guidelines.
  16. Collects insurance information from clients, parents/guardians, verifies insurance coverage and benefits, and relays information to necessary departments.
  17. Maintains working and accurate statistical and census reports on a regular basis of clients currently being served, prospective clients awaiting service, and referrals made for program placement.
  18. Documents all requests for service using computerized inquiry functions.
  19. Determines appropriate level of care based on the client’s history, psychosocial history, clinical presentation, and funding situation.
  20. Maintains a knowledge base of insurance/managed care processes related to pre-certifications and authorizations.
  21. Responds to off-hours medication concerns of clients by coordinating contact between the client, families, pharmacy, physicians, and others as needed to mediate the situation.
  22. Coordinates admissions to WellSpan Philhaven programs by gathering necessary information from clients, parents/counties; scheduling admissions; and meeting with the aforementioned on the day of admission for initial assessment and completion of initial paperwork.
  23. Completes insurance pre-certifications and authorizations for individuals being admitted to WellSpan Philhaven Programs.
  24. Utilizes a structured interview tool to conduct an in-depth clinical assessment, and documents this using approved WellSpan Philhaven evaluation forms.
  25. Instructs and assists the client and client family in completing all necessary paperwork, and witnesses signatures as necessary.
  26. Works cooperatively with program staff to transition the client to the program, and participates in the conference call with the psychiatrist as necessary. Provides a summary of pertinent clinical information and special needs as a part of this process.
  27. Interacts with all clients and family members with an awareness of confidentiality requirements and client rights issues, and sensitivity to the client’s and family’s level of distress and needs.
  28. Verifies completion of all necessary paperwork following admission.
  29. Works in cooperation with the Access Manager, In House Supervisor and Residential Milieu Manager to ensure the proper care and safety of clients by maintaining client level of supervision and precautions determined by the treatment teams.
  30. Assists as needed on inpatient and residential milieus to manage client behaviors necessary to allow for the full utilization of WellSpan Philhaven bed resources to optimize admissions.
  31. Identifies and reports unsafe conditions in the milieus to appropriate manager/supervisor.
  32. Establishes and maintains positive, therapeutic relationships with clients.
  33. As requested completes fifteen-minute checks thoroughly and in a timely manner.
  34. Documents observations, care provided and client responses on the appropriate documentation form.
  35. Collaborates with unit staff to provide feedback/input into individual client treatment plans and progress toward goals.
  36. Reports changes observed in clients’ behavior to the treatment team.
  37. Assists with routine client care activities as needed in a manner that does not prevent the individual from being free to respond to behavioral emergencies.
  38. Completes the Nursing Procedures section of the Nursing Assessment for new admissions including body search and checking belongings.
  39. Takes client’s vital signs as needed and reports abnormalities to the Registered Nurse.
  40. Maintains an awareness of WellSpan Philhaven’s admission criteria and the Mental Health Procedures Act, and serves as a resource for other WellSpan Philhaven staff concerning appropriateness for admission and mental health legal requirements.
  41. Completes necessary training and provides telephone crisis services when primary Crisis Intervention Counselor is not available.
  42. Completes the necessary training and serves as a primary Crisis Intervention Counselor when coverage needs require.


  • Minimum Experience:
    • 2 years
  • Minimum Education:
    • Bachelor's Degree
  • Required Certification:
    • Must maintain active certification as instructor in all MBMT training programs implemented at WellSpan Philhaven
  • Skills:
    • Requires the ability to function both independently with minimal supervision as well as the ability to work under the direct supervision of unit managers when assisting with behavioral emergencies on varied units; Requires interpersonal skills, both verbal and listening, to manage client admission interaction, and to advise, counsel, and cause employees to comply with policies. In addition, the ability to provide counsel on sensitive client matters and act in a public relations capacity on various issues is required; Visual ability to observe client behavior and to prepare documentation and written materials as required; Requires the organizational ability to efficiently handle and prioritize a consistently heavy workload in multiple areas. Also requires the resilience to handle the high level of stress and tight deadlines needed to maintain revenue levels; Knowledge of and ability in the care and handling of clients in a specific age group (children, adolescents, adults, or older adults) as assigned is required, including consideration of the special needs and behaviors of that age group; Analytical ability is required to determine appropriate solutions to crisis calls and service inquiries.
    • Must possess a valid driver’s license in the current state of residence. Driving record must meet requirements established by WellSpan Risk Management.

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