The Importance of Health Psychology Hca 250

Topics: Psychology, Illness, Hospital Pages: 6 (1921 words) Published: October 17, 2008
How does psychology affect ones physical health? Several psychological factors including stress, behavior due to chronic pain, depression, and cultural beliefs can have adverse affects on the body’s physical condition. The treatment of both physiological and psychological aspects of poor health are crucial for patients to have successful treatment outcomes, maintain and improve wellness, and improved adherence to medical regimens. Adding a team of five psychologists to a hospital’s staff and assigning specific job titles and duties to each psychologist would be immensely beneficial to the patients. The five job titles include substance abuse counselor, inpatient-only psychologist, child psychologist, adult psychologist, and pain psychologist. Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counseling is a demanding and rewarding job that requires patience, a desire to help others, and compassion (The Princeton Review, 2008). Often, addicts are unaware of the services that can be provided to them. A substance abuse counselor can refer patients to other services such as family agencies, food pantries, a psychiatrist or physician, and welfare agents. Depending on the needs of the addict and their situation other services may be available as well (The Princeton Review, 2008). The substance abuse counselor will be in charge of coordinating the use of recovery programs and structured programs for substance abuse, in conjunction with a social worker. Substance abuse counselors work with a variety of professionals in order to provide the best service to the each patient. Along with coordinating recovery programs, the substance abuse counselor will collaborate with local schools and provide information to children about substance abuse and how abstain from using substances. He or she will provide information on programs for students who have already started using substances, and for those who have parents that abuse substances. Motivational interviewing is another service that the substance abuse counselor may provide in order to keep the addict on track. With motivational interviewing, the patient becomes aware of potential problems caused, consequences experienced, and risks factors of their behavior. The counselor will help the patient envision a brighter future, while keeping him or her motivated to achieve set goals (Axia College of University of Phoenix, 2008). Because substance abuse counselors can have as little as a high school diploma for their education, strict job limitations must be set. The counselor may not prescribe medicine, diagnose the patient, or provide psychological therapy. Instead, he or she may refer the patient to a specialist who can further help the patient with medical needs. A substance abuse counselor will be very helpful to reduce hospital stays and increase adherence to medical regimens. Substance abuse counseling can be done on an outpatient basis and may help the patient to avoid a relapse which occurs most during the first weeks and months of treatment (Axia College of University of Phoenix, 2008). Through the use of motivational interviewing, the counselor will be able to keep the patient motivated and on track with his or her medical regimens. Substance abuse counselors provide support toward the improvement and maintenance of health by keeping the patient motivated, referring him or her to other needed services, and helping him or her cope with their addiction. Inpatient-Only Psychologist

Providing inpatient therapies and services to the patients who are admitted to the hospital is a necessity. An inpatient-only therapist will utilize various methods to facilitate adjustment and coping skills with patients suffering a chronic or terminal illness. A majority of the patients who are admitted to the hospital are there because they are seriously ill. The inpatient-only therapist will provide services such as teaching coping skills to help patients adjust to their illness, individual and family...
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