Life as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a rewarding and ever changing career that is far from dull and boring. Each day as an RBT requires an open mind, no two days are alike. The only thing that is certain is that this job is incredibly rewarding and worth your time.
RBTs are much more than Behavior Therapists. We engage in various roles; we are teachers, authority figures, models, helpers, guides, artists, narrators, safety nets, problem solvers, story tellers, and friends. These roles play into an overall big picture for each of our clients. Every one of our clients has unique needs, and we are there to provide individualized, behavioral treatment designed to make positive behavior changes in their lives.
My Day as an RBT Begins
At the beginning of each day, I arrive and prepare for my sessions. I clear my head and gather activity ideas for all of my sessions throughout the day. I then help my first patient out of their car, conduct temperature checks, and ask the billion-dollar COVID questions. Next, I take their (mostly) smiling faces into the clinic and really begin my day. Once my clients are settled in and have finished their daily routine, we start playing. This is where my creative engine comes into play and I become each client’s personal play idea machine. From princesses to monster trucks, almost every idea goes as long as spirits and motivation are high.
Throughout play, I get to behave in all the roles listed above. Play can be one of the top motivators for our learners, so once I’ve made an impression, I begin to intermix our clients’ individualized programs into the play. This is where I play the role of the teacher, and this is where my passion lies. I love teaching our clients new skills that benefit them in their daily lives in all environments.
Even though I’ve made this job sound like all fun and games, being an RBT does have its challenges too. Sometimes we have to play the authority figure, the task giver, the opposer, or the challenger. Because we are there to promote independence and behavior change, we get to see firsthand how important these changes truly are. Whether its meltdowns over trips to the potty or trying to find one missing Candy Land card that obviously makes a difference with how the game is played, every day there are different hurdles RBTs come across, but seeing the progress each of our clients makes each day makes it all worth it for me.
I am currently in graduate school for applied behavior analysis, so maybe that makes me extra nerdy about this kind of stuff, but this job really has taught me so much. I’ve learned a deep sense of patience, kindness, and caring. My biggest takeaway from this job is this: when it comes to learning: all children are sponges sometimes the children we work with need people in their lives to help open their pores to learning.