In the United States, mental health problems are on the rise. It’s estimated that around one in five adults living in the U.S. experiences episodes of mental illness in a given year. This means that there is an increasing demand for mental health services.
One type of mental health professional who is in high demand is a health service psychologist. These psychologists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings to provide psychological services to patients.
There are several reasons why health service psychologists are in high demand. First, they are trained to work with a wide range of patients, from those with mild anxiety disorders to those with severe mental illness. Second, they are adept at using a variety of treatment methods, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication management.
What Health Service Psychologists Do
PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs prepare students for careers as psychologists who work in a variety of settings to provide mental health services. Health service psychologists typically work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They often work with patients who have chronic or acute mental health conditions.
Health service psychologists use a variety of psychological interventions to help their patients. They may conduct individual or group therapy sessions. They may also provide psychoeducation to help patients manage their symptoms and cope with stressors. In addition, health service psychologists may conduct research on mental health topics and develop educational materials for the public.
The Importance Of Continuing Education
There are many reasons why continuing education is important for clinical psychologists. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that staying up to date on the latest research and developments in the field helps psychologists provide the best care possible to their patients. In addition, continuing education can help psychologists maintain their licenses and stay abreast of changing laws and ethical standards.
Continuing education also has some more personal benefits. Taking courses and attending conferences allows you to step away from the day-to-day grind of your practice and reconnect with your passion for the work.
It’s all too easy to get distracted and bogged down in the paperwork and administrative side of things; it’s nice to be reminded of why you got into the field in the first place.
Making The Most Of Your Career
Psychologists in health service settings often find themselves on the front lines of patient care, providing essential psychological services to those in need. There are two main ways for you to build your career further: develop your niche and stay up to date.
Develop a Niche
Developing a specialty or niche can be helpful when it comes to providing psychological services in a healthcare setting. If done right, you can become an expert in a particular area of care and better meet the needs of your patients and those elsewhere.
Stay Up to Date
It’s important to keep up with all the latest developments in your field so that you can provide the best possible care for your patients. Attend conferences and read professional journals so that you can stay abreast of the latest research and clinical advances.
Exploring Niche Psychological Care
It’s important to decide on a particular field of interest before selecting a specialty. This will determine which degree program you choose, but there are a variety of different specialties to choose from. Some common specialties are:
- Mental Health – These psychologists work in mental health hospitals, clinics or private practices specializing in the treatment of mental illness. You’ll work one-on-one with your clients and may be involved in research projects designed to solve problems within your field of study.
- Clinical/Counseling – These psychologists also specialize in working with patients. You’ll have more contact with clients and could be asked to conduct psychological evaluations related to their problems and diagnose them as having certain disorders.
- Neuropsychology – As the name implies, these psychologists specialize in the neurological aspects of mental illness. They may also provide services to patients who have experienced neurological trauma or injury.
The Future of Health Service Psychology
As we look ahead, it’s likely that the number of health psychologists in practice will continue to increase. With such a growing demand for psychologists, there will likely be more openings in these types of jobs. However, health service psychologist job prospects are likely to remain relatively stable through 2023 due to limited job growth coupled with the aging of the baby boomer population.
This means that the competition to land these jobs is likely to stay strong for a few years yet. If you plan on pursuing a career as a health service psychologist, your best bet is to get your education in order and establish a good work/life balance to manage the stress of your workload.
In the end, there are many reasons why psychologists work as health service providers. These reasons include helping patients and advancing research on mental disorders. The bottom line is that there will probably always be a strong demand for health service providers to provide mental health services to those in need.