Arguments for and against Prescription Writing by Psychologists Psychologists are knowledgeable in various social and psychological issues affecting individuals in society. These include mental health and drug use, among others…
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Most importantly, psychologists study the treatment and preventive strategies of different conditions, including drug abuse and mental disorders, among others (Hart 18-9 ). However, these are not responsible for prescriptions, which are handled by physicians. According to Hart, compared to other professionals in health care, psychiatrists are more knowledgeable in issues regarding mental disorders (183). These have intensive training in diagnosing but not prescription of mental disorders, since their study is not deeply rooted in medicine. Therefore, psychologists today can only diagnose a mental health condition, while medical doctors do the prescriptions (183). This has resulted in inadequacies in the mental health care sector. Clinical psychologists and medical doctors fail to collaborate to ensure efficiency, mainly because of the discrepancies in their practices (Hart 183). Nonetheless, this keeps hurting the patients, since most states have not granted prescription privileges to psychologists. This therefore, has resulted in a persistent debate, whether psychologists should be granted prescription privileges or not. Hart notes that only two states grant psychologists prescription privileges, but with conditions attached. Psychologists however, argue that granting them prescription privileges will improve the quality of mental health care in different ways. ...
Therefore, this heated debate between psychologists and other professionals over psychologists’ prescription privileges continues to persist. Most psychologists want to be involved in is the prescription of psychotropic medication. The American Psychological Association (APA) first raised this issue in1989. The APA holds that psychologists, who deal with cases of mental health, can be able to prescribe medication, after undergoing training. They have argued that this move will ensure effective mental health care (Long WEB). Over the years, the APA has put in more efforts in spreading this initiative in the USA, and among the concerned regulatory authorities. The first success was achieved in 2002, when New Mexico allowed psychologists prescription privileges. In 2004, the state of Louisiana became second to allow psychologists prescription privileges (Hart 183). However, the laws by these states are different; therefore, disparities exist in the prescription privileges of psychologists in these states. Nonetheless, for a psychologist to have a prescription license in these states, they must undertake a two years’ training in physiology, pharmacology, and other medical topics. Thereafter, they should work for one year under the supervision of a licensed physician, and upon passing examinations; these are allowed a license for prescription (Hart 183). Most psychologists desire prescription privileges, claiming that this will result in better psychotropic treatment, compared to what physicians are offering today. The rural areas today experience insufficient psychotropic treatment, therefore, if psychologists were allowed to prescribe, this would increase the number of physicians concerned with psychotropic medication, thus reaching out to the
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