Clinical Assessment in Health Centers
Heather L. Bienkowski
March 23, 2015
Professor Karen Hoeve
Clinical Assessment in Health Centers
Clinical assessments have their place in almost every facet of the psychological and educational realms. I have been tracking down and examining what the most important aspects of assessment are that come into play in regard to drug and substance abuse, custody battles, as well as the importance the role of adhering to the ethical standards of utilizing culturally informed assessments. Clinical assessments within mental health centers are carry great importance in the identifying underlying behavioral problems, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. Behind every assessment is a clinician who carries great responsibility in maintaining professionalism and adhering to a strict code of ethical standards in order to maintain both their personal protection as well as the utmost priority of client protection. Assessment in mental health centers carries a large indication on how our patients are diagnosed and treatment. Clinicians employ multiple forms of assessments along the way. The journey of assessment is begun with a clinician review of important case history of the patient to determine premorbid functioning. Researchers Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman (2013) define premorbid functioning as the “level of psychological and physical performance prior to the development of a disorder, an illness, or a disability” (p. 490). Based on premorbid functioning levels as well as obtaining intelligence assessments clinicians can determine which treatment methods are most beneficial for the client. The use of biopsychosocial assessments can help to determine the biological, social, environmental, and cultural components that may be underlying contributors to the determining mental disorder or diagnosis. Clinicians often employ the use of interviews within the assessment process. With the use of interviews, clinicians can answer the ever common question of, what next. The interview process, usually conducted in a face-to face manner, gives great insight to the clinician on the patient. Through the interpretation of both verbal and nonverbal language, as well as the specific client complaints, clinicians can pinpoint important markers within behavior and can generate an understanding of their patient and determine the type of treatment that would be best for their client.
In all psychological and biological assessment, the use of culturally attuned assessments is top priority. “We may define culturally informed psychological assessment as an approach to evaluation that is keenly perceptive of and responsive to issues of acculturation, values, identity, worldview, language, and other culture-related variables as they may impact the evaluation process or the interpretation of resulting data” (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Through this process key individuals contribute to the understanding of the client including family, friends, and coworkers input and information. Through the use of translators and other cultural affiliates clinicians are able to demonstrate a clearer understanding, a culturally applicable assessment, and ensure that the client understands the ins and outs of the assessment process. One important aspect of the implementation of the “one size fits all approach” to culturally attuned treatment and care in our mental health facilities (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Assessment and clinical evaluations should not be a cookie cutter experience. The amount of patients that are seen, and the evaluation methods employed must be culturally specific as well as client specific. I get it, everyone is there to make money, but at what cost? Culturally sounds assessments have evolved and changes have been made but more must be done to assure the protection of our clients and our clinicians.
Assessment plays a large role in important aspects of our society which...
References: Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M. E., & Sturman, E. D. (2013). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (8th Ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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