Clinical assessments within mental health centers are carry great importance in the identifying underlying behavioral robbers, 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 remember functioning. Researchers Cohen, Skewered, & Stuntman (2013) define preformed 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 preformed functioning levels as well as obtaining intelligence assessments clinicians can determine which treatment methods are most beneficial for the client. The use of biophysically assessments can help to determine the biological, social, environmental, and cultural components that may be underlying contributors to the determining mental crosier 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, Skewered, & Stuntman, 2013). Through this process key individuals contribute to the understanding of the linen 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, Skewered, & Stuntman, 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. 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 include drug and substance abuse assessments as well as custody evaluations.
Assessments involve drug and substance abuse are a commonality in our world today. Whether an individual is seeking outpatient psychotherapy services, being admitted for inpatient services, or even seeking employment, being screened for drug use may be a prerequisite” (Cohen, Skewered, & Stuntman, 2013). The more mainstream drug use is becoming, the more these assessments grown in frequency of use and importance. There is much debate over the issue of consent involved in this type of assessment.
Consent is a key factor and step in all forms of assessment, the question that arises is the competence of truly understanding the process of assessment when the client may be using drugs. Culture, generational status, and other components are determined and how they contribute to drug use and the intervention and treatment process. By utilizing specific assessments such as role play a greater understanding of the clients can be maintained.
Such role play tests such as, The Situational Competency Test, the Alcohol Specific Role play Test, and the Cocaine Risk Response Test, help to determine the usage and habits of the clients, as well as how they would respond in a specific situation (Cohen, Skewered, & Stuntman, 2013). Success with these assessment ethos can be determined of the context in which they are employed. Is the client forced to be examined by legal arms or is the aim of treatment a self- determined process? These type of questions directly affect treatment methods and establishing understanding is top priority to the clinicians.
Another avenue of assessment that carries debate is the usage of assessment in custody situations. “Psychological assessors can assist the court in making such decisions through the use of a custody evaluation -?a psychological assessment of parents or guardians and their parental capacity ND/or of children and their parental needs and preferences-?usually undertaken for the purpose of assisting a court in making a decision about awarding custody” (Cohen, Skewered, & Stuntman, 2013). These forms of assessment come in ways of both parent and child evaluations.
But is this too much for one clinician to handle, should there be more involved in this assessment process? Usually there is one clinician responsible of the conduction of all assessments in the custody evaluation and determinant process, with each member involved having their own experts and own insight on the case. This is not an easy task for anyone. When evaluating parents, clinicians must determine the capacity for the parent to care for this child, the mental state if applicable, parents desire of custody, and components.
An examination of parenting styles, personal history, as well as the divorce and marriage details all come into play. With custody disputes, the evaluation Of the child carries large importance as well. In child evaluations clinicians use a variety of methods to determine whether the child has a preference over one parent or another in terms of residence. If the child is five or younger the assessments may be unreliable based on the basic understanding of what is being asked, if the child scores above average IQ scores the assessment may be reliable.
Clinicians implement many role playing and other assessment methods based on the child’s interests in order to help to determine preference. Often completion (fill in the blank format) questions are utilized to examine preference levels. In each assessment application, clinicians are the pilots of the journey. They are responsible for ensuring client safety and a clear understanding of the intent often utilizing culturally affiliated agents and translators.