Browsing Applied Health Sciences by Title
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IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS IN CHANGING STATE LEGISLATION REGARDING LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS PROVIDING PRIVATE INDEPENDENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICESState regulated social work practice began in the 1960s; by the mid-1990s, all of the states within the United States regulated the profession through licensure. The purpose of licensure was ostensibly to protect the public and the profession; however, legislation defining social work practice varied vastly from state to state. The variation existed not only between states, but also within licensure categories with regard to the scope of practice of the social work profession. Licensed clinical social workers in some states could practice relatively independently, as they had the ability to diagnose, provide psychotherapy, and bill Medicaid, Medicare, and third party insurance companies; licensed clinical social workers in other states, however, could not engage in some, or all, of these practices. The disparity within the practice of clinical social work continues without resolve. The present qualitative study explored the barriers encountered and the solutions incorporated to overcome those barriers in three states during their attempts to secure legislation allowing licensed clinical social workers to independently provide mental health services. Grounded theory research was used to form a theory based on information learned from 12 Historians for use in states who have not yet achieved a fully independent level of clinical social work practice. Using strategic systems of solutions to overcome barriers in the legislative process should help those states desiring legislative change to reach their goals. Reaching a foundational scope of practice across all states with regard to licensed clinical social workers’ ability to independently provide mental health services facilitates the Association of iv Social Work Board’s goal of practice mobility and license portability. Achievement of this goal would facilitate social workers’ ability to practice across state lines and social worker relocations. Establishing a foundational scope of practice also improves clients’ access to mental health services.
Risk Characteristics of Healthcare Workers that Decline Voluntary Influenza VaccinationInfluenza, also known as the flu, is one of the most common seasonal illnesses with outbreaks occurring each year. Transmission of the influenza virus in a hospital setting is a significant concern, because although most cases of influenza are mild, up to 25% require outpatient medical care, as many as 4% require inpatient care, and 1% require intensive care. One way to prevent influenza is through vaccination of those deemed to be high risk for contracting and spreading the disease, such as healthcare workers. The purpose of this study was to identify personal, demographic and professional characteristics of healthcare workers who decline influenza vaccination in a Southeastern United States teaching hospital. Characteristics examined in this study included gender, ethnicity, number of years employed at the hospital, personnel role and level of patient contact. The method for this research involved the utilization of existing (secondary) data from the 2010-2011 flu vaccination program gained from the employee database of the hospital. A population consisting of 22,845 healthcare workers was observed. Findings included identification of African Americans as the ethnic group with the highest declination rate. Healthcare workers with little patient contact also had high rates of declination. While physicians and nurses had relatively low rates of declination, environmental service workers had a high rate of declination. This study concluded that although specific groups were identified with high rates of declination, further research is needed to determine the reason behind declination amongst these groups and if any relationship can be made with regard to education level or job title that affects declination of the influenza vaccine. Future research is needed to understand why healthcare workers decline vaccination and how to improve vaccination rates in this population.