This report discusses several aspects of health psychologists. Health psychologists can take on different roles in carrying out research, providing and improving health services in hospitals and clinics, carrying out health promotion in communities or working actively in policy and social change to help improve living conditions so that people are enabled to act on their own (Marks & Evans, 2005). In this context Marks & Evans (2005) indicated hat heath psychology has much to offer to a multidisciplinary approach that considers both the environmental context a behavior as key determinants of health.
According to Marks & Evans (2005) the social context of health has received more recognition and health psychologists have been increasingly working with families, workplaces, organizations and communities. Some of the roles found in health psychologists include substance abuse counselor, inpatient-only psychologist, child and Adult psychologist.
Substance abuse counselor
Substance abuse counselor can play the role of collaborating with local schools in order to provide advice students on the effects of substance abuse. They can also coordinate the use of recovery programs and structured programs for substance abuse in conjunction with social workers in order to help substance abusers either in their recovery process or in ensuring that they follow the program given to them by senior psychologists. Substance abuse counselor can also diagnose stress disorders and aid in stress-relief interventions for substance abusers and especially addicts.
Inpatient-only psychologist can provide treatment for chronic pain in patients with conditions related to chronic pain. They can also utilize various methods to facilitate adjustment and coping skills with patients suffering a chronic or terminal illness. This is very important because it goes inline with their career. According to Marks & Evans (2005) this is inline with disenchantment with biomedical health care among the patients. This has led to a search for alternative perspectives which value the experience of patients and attempt to improve services in light of a understanding of the psychological aspects of health care (Marks & Evans, 2005).
Child psychologists can play the role of providing psychological preparation methods for children prior to medical procedures. This helps the child to know in advance what he or she expects to happen after undergoing such a treatment. It also helps children to create a positive attitude towards the awaited treatment. Apart from this obligation child psychologists can collaborate with local schools especially in elementary schools to help children in these schools to understand aspects related to their growth and development.
Adult psychologists play the role of providing psychological preparation methods for adults prior to medical procedures and surgery. This helps the adults to prepare themselves for the treatment which they may be awaiting. Also since stress is associated with the aging majority adult psychologists may help in diagnosing stress disorders and aid in stress-relief interventions in the aging groups of people.
Recommend a fifth job title and assign other health psychology-related duties not listed or related to those above.
The fifth job which may be appropriate is occupational health psychologists. Weiner et, al. (2003) indicated that this category of health psychology is based on maintain a good working environment within an organization. Weiner et, al. (2003) says that it is concerned with designing a conducive working environment that is person- oriented and healthy. Occupational health psychologists deal with individual’s specific concepts such as emotion, anger, and work holism and gender difference predispositions (Weiner et, al. 2003). For example occupational health psychologists may deal with anger which has been found to have lethal role in individual’s life and try to exacerbate the experience of distress and strain within that person.
Identify decision-making criteria and explain rationale behind your assignment of duties to each of the five job titles.
According to Cohen, McChargue & Collins (2003) there are unique problems when it comes to assigning duties to health psychologists. This is because there are issues related to professional isolation and the difficulties of communication with other professionals trained with different vocabularies Cohen, McChargue & Collins (2003). In their studies Cohen, McChargue & Collins (2003) indicated that socialization within health psychologists can be very important and play the role of eliminating professional or hierarchical differences among staff and professionals. The rationale of choosing and assigning these duties should be based on the personal effort to achieve their goals and an internal derive of an individual can lead to choosing a more service delivery within the individual.
In addition, Cohen, McChargue & Collins (2003) indicated that the rational of assigning duties should be based on job satisfaction a consequent physical and psychological well being of the health psychologists and the other professionals they work together. This also includes aspects related to individual’s motivation of the health psychologist and productivity. Cohen, McChargue & Collins (2003) continue to say that during this process one should consider improved cost effectiveness of service delivery which includes better use of skills and knowledge of the professional. The rationale should be based on the educational background of the individual, quality of work performance and the mistakes and errors in treatment. Health psychologists should be able to collaborate with other nonmedical health professionals for example those in hospital care. Psychologists should have the models of working with mental health trained nurses in primary care (Cohen, McChargue & Collins, 2003).
Discuss and give further details on how each of the five psychologists will contribute to improvement in overall patient health and the kinds of responsibilities and services each of the five psychologists provide for patients?
Substance abuse counselors are a common exception. According to Kuther & Morgan “substance abuse counselors provide counseling or rehabilitation services in residential treatment programs or act as part of comprehensive outpatient substance abuse programs” (2009 p. 37). Kuther & Morgan (2009) continue to say that substance abuse counselors are the primary therapists working with clients on their alcohol or drug dependence or abuse. Kuther & Morgan (2009) also noted that substance abuse counselors may spend their days facilitating therapy groups as well as meeting individually with clients.
Inpatient-only psychologist involves consultation services and treatment of people exhibiting less than optimal adjustment to illness or illness management behavior (Hersen & Gross, 2007). This also involves consultation and clinical practice activities in emergency departments as well as conducting assessments for depression or suicide risk assessment and triage for victims of acute trauma or acute illness and the assessment of children in acute psychological crisis (Hersen & Gross, 2007).
Inpatient-only psychologist reduce hospitalization by providing potential treatment activities for patients with health related difficulties that require intervention but commonly involve coping and adjustments issues, adherence to treatment recommendations or pain management. Hersen & Gross (2007) established that problems of coping and adjustment may relate to death and dying, limits to daily functioning, family communication and social interaction difficulties.
Child psychologist brings together the basic tenets of clinical psychology with a thorough background in child and family development (Hersen & Gross, 2007). Hersen & Gross (2007) indicated that “child psychologists conduct research and provide services which are aimed at understanding, preventing and treating psychological, cognitive, emotional, development, behavior and family problems of children across the age range from infancy through adolescence”(p. 46).
Child psychologists reduce hospitalization by providing an understanding of the basic psychological needs of children and how the family and other social contexts influence children’s socio-emotional adjustment, cognitive development, behavioral adaptation and health status (Hersen & Gross, 2007). Hersen & Gross (2007) continue to say that since populations of interest range from infancy to adolescence, child psychologists should have a good understanding of child and family development.
Adult psychologist according to Clare & Woods (2008) play the role of indirect clinical role who specialize in secondary mental health care services for older people and general hospital care for older people. Clare & Woods (2008) indicated that adult psychologists provide primary care services for adult and aging people which are the most challenging issue facing health psychology nowadays. Clare & Woods (2008) argued that there is a need for an enhanced consultative role with less experienced colleagues in relation to the work of adult psychologists. This means that adult psychologists must ensure that ageism is not constant threat and that older adult people do not experience indirect discrimination. The adult psychologists can achieve this by ensuring that they monitor the referral and treatment rates and comparing it with the age distribution of the adults in a particular hospital.
Adult psychologists reduce hospitalization because they work psychotherapeutically with other clients and then advise a care home on behavioral program all in the space of one working ay or two can be very satisfying requiring many competencies (Clare & Woods, 2008). Clare & Woods (2008) argued that “for adult psychologists the range of work with older people includes to carry out a neuropsychological assessment and working with older people to adjust their health problem” (p. 13). As a result adult psychologists needs to be comfortable in discussing taboo topics with he older persons Clare & Woods (2008) continue to say that “these should encompass discussion of death and dying, religion and spirituality an sexuality are too often avoided” (p. 13). These are areas where supervision can be helpful, especially where the person views ad beliefs are difficult for the adult psychologist to hear (Clare & Woods, 2008).
Occupational psychologist according to Weiner et, al. (2003) covers a wide array of both individual and organizational indices. Occupational health psychologists help in collecting objectives and measures of organizational variables such as productivity measures which has varying effectiveness. At the organizational level occupational psychologists help in measuring organizational health or the impact of intervention programs. From the health sector perspective occupational psychologists is used to improve working conditions through organizational modification to reduce potential psychological risks and produce a health engendering work environment.
Occupational health psychologists will result to shorter hospitalization because it enhances information, education and training for the workforce at al levels Weiner et, al. (2003). This means that it enriches psychological health services for workers and also improves surveillance and monitoring of risk factor and associated psychological disorders (Weiner et, al. 2003).
Is there overlap in any or all of the five job titles? Should there be? Why or why not? ·
Studies show that there is an overlap in the duties of health care psychologists. This is because for large populations there might a small number of psychologists and this implies the specialists may serve at different levels or different categories of people. This overlap should not be there because it may imply that an individual is taking o a profession in which e or she is not qualified. This may result to poor performance and leave some clients unsatisfied. For example a substance abuse counselor can not be given to deal or take the roe of child psychologist because he or she is required to have an understanding of how family members relate with children and also knowledge regarding issues as rules, boundaries and values and how they share experiences and emotions (Hersen & Gross, 2007). Another contradiction may arise in cases were for example an occupational psychologists may not work in the place of an adult psychologists. This may lead to failure of performing the role as required or expected by senior medical staff and other health experts.
Consider and discuss the impact of implementing each role versus not implementing it.
Through implementing the role of substance abuse consolers it will reduce substance abuse in many social setting and help in creating awareness of the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. This acts as a preventive measure to future health complications. Implementation of inpatient psychologists will help the hospital manage health related difficulties that require intervention but commonly involve coping and adjustments issues, adherence to treatment recommendations and pain management issues.
Implementation of child psychologist role endorses the view that psychological theory and practice will help individuals to conduct research and provide services which are aimed at understanding, preventing and treating psychological, cognitive, emotional, development, behavior and family problems of children across the age range from infancy to teenager (Hersen & Gross, 2007).
Implementation of the role of adult psychologists ensures that ageism is not constant threat and that older adult people do not experience indirect discrimination. This role ensures that adults are monitored and referred to the appropriate treatment rates (Clare & Woods, 2008). Implementation of the role of occupational psychologists is used to improve working conditions within an organization and ensure modification which helps to reduce potential psychological risks and produce a health engendering work environment
Why would patients be better off with the psychologists’ services after doing without in the past? ·
With the services of psychologists in place patients will not undergo long periods of hospitalization and therefore improve the overall health of the patient. Friedman & Silver (2007) indicated that psychologists have helped in improving the health and well being of the patients. Friedman & Silver (2007) continue to say that psychologists all these fields have played significant role of ensuring that they have constructed models that will facilitate the design of risk reducing interventions associated with some diseases. Patients are better off also because the research by psychologists has facilitated risk reducing interventions including rapidly changing psychological variables for example motivational variables. According to Friedman & Silver (2007) the magnitude of change brought about by these health psychologists has caused improvements in health behavior for example substance abuse like smoking cessation, weight loss in adults and increased physical activity.
In conclusion Friedman & Silver (2007) say that for patients psychologists have helped in prevention with a wide variety of intervention approaches ranging from individual to small group based approaches for example behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and family or couple counseling. These approaches are significant especially for occupational psychologists, adult and child psychologists (Friedman & Silver, 2007). In some health psychology research the effects of psychological factors on health outcomes of the patients are small. This results from the complex, multi-factorial etiology of many diseases.