Should Psychologists Have Prescription Privileges? Essay

1055 words - 4 pages

Should Psychologists Have Prescription Privileges?

The debate over the right of clinical psychologists to prescribe psychoactive medications is certainly not new to the scene. In fact, the debate spans over the past two decades with strong arguments on each end of the spectrum. While opponents to the issue question, among many other things, the qualifications of psychologists, advocates on the issue stress the important public needs that are not currently being met in our mental healthcare system (Lavoie & Barone, 2006). Although the issue of prescription privileges for psychologist stems back many years with plenty of arguments on both sides, I believe the evidence presents a clear and evident solution on the topic. Based on research articles and journals in this field of study, I find that new standards for prescription privileges would pose a substantial benefit for mental health professionals, both psychologist and psychiatrists. Prescription privileges in today’s world would essentially broaden public access and availability to the mental health professionals who have the powers to prescribe (Lavoie & Fleet, 2002).
We have already seen numerous changes in the field of psychology, and these have yielded new opportunities and roles for psychologists not to mention the added benefits and new comprehensive services presented to the public. In his publication titled, Responding to Society’s Needs: Prescription Privileges for Psychologists, in the Journal Of Clinical Psychology, Norfleet urges the need for this continued trend in our future, and strongly advocates the need for prescription privileges to be a part of the equation. The author clearly lays out the importance of this advancement in the field of psychology by stressing seven points. First, prescription privileges for psychologists are a much cheaper route to treatment than our current form of administration. Second, this poses a significant time saver on the end of the clients. No longer with clients have to make multiple appointments in their schedules to receive their medications. Now, the availability lies in the hands of the hands of the psychologist who provides a convenient one stop shop to their clientele. Third, psychiatrists are essentially dropping the ball. They are not adequately providing services to the populations that need it the most. This is why psychologists with prescription privileges fill this need in society. Forth, psychologist house a unique ability and training to address and assess the psychosocial aspects of medical problems, because they deal so closely with physicians and the education and treatment process for the family and patient involved. And Fifth, prescription privileges for psychologists does not mean that every psychologists out there is going to be handing out medications, and ultimately that’s not the point. The point is, that psychologists have the opportunity and the choice to become proficient in this aspect of the profession (Norfleet,...

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