Essay Example: Future Career as a Mental Health Professional

Published: 2022-10-04
Essay Example: Future Career as a Mental Health Professional
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Profession Substance abuse
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 846 words
8 min read

A career in the mental health field is very fulfilling in addition to providing a diverse area of specialization to suit one's interest. Among the many roles one can take in mental health, substance abuse counselor, psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner are the most appealing.

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A substance abuse counselor is an interesting role in the mental health profession since it is a job that involves helping people with substance abuse problems such as alcohol, heroin, and other drugs. Assisting people to overcome and conquer addictions to drug problems is an enriching experience. In this era, the issue of substance abuse is currently an important pressing issue in society. The production of drugs in society is continuously growing both cities and rural areas. The impact of substance abuse is extensive, and the boundaries of drug abuse have been dissolved. To professionally work in this career, it requires an academic pursuit of educational programs relating to the field. The level of professionalism is dependent on the level of education and experience gained.

The first step towards gaining professionalism is attaining a bachelor's degree at the university level to enable one to acquire the necessary certification and skill to work as a substance abuse counselor. Addiction counseling or Alcohol & Drug Abuse Studies are some of the two common majors for those wishing to gain professional skills in this field. After a bachelor's degree, further academic pursuits in postgraduate studies and practical experience enhance professional growth and the required skills.

A career in psychiatry is very appealing considering the healthcare opportunities it presents to the practitioner. A psychiatrist is among the few mental health practitioners that are allowed to prescribe medication. Therefore the profession presents the physician with a broader sphere of practicing healthcare. Additionally, the chance to discuss mental issues with many people through psychotherapy offers one a satisfying reflection about the human mind.

To successfully work as a psychiatrist the first step is to gain a medical degree from a medical school and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD). Knowledge on body functions and mental processes are gained in medical school to facilitate someone to work as a profession in psychiatry. Completing a psychiatry residency is also a step towards increasing professional knowledge in psychiatry. Residency equips practitioners with relevant skills for interacting with patients which are significantly important in the practice of psychiatry. Residency is essential in professional work since it introduces the physician to a range of medical issue. Additional training is also required, and the American Psychiatric Association requires additional training that covers the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses.

Psychiatric nurse practice is a mental health role that relates to advance practice in caring for patients with mental health diseases and behavioral problems. The position involves offering treatment and diagnostic care while aiming at enhancing overall mental wellness. The job consists in utilizing both therapeutic and medicinal interventions in caring for patients. Given that is practiced on an advanced level, the supervision of a doctor may not always be necessary. The role of a psychiatric nurse practitioner in mental health is very crucial in providing comprehensive care to mental health patients.

The most basic requirement to work in the field as a profession is primarily to attain the necessary academic requirements. Before enrolling for a graduate program in the field, it is required that one gains clinical experience through practical training for a few years. The completion of advanced nursing practice course is necessary before earning a Master's degree program. Additionally, psychiatric mental health nursing courses are required for the role, concepts taught in the course and needed in professional practice are health promotion and practice, advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, and pharmacology for advanced practice nurse.

In all of these roles, I do not find any that challenge my personal beliefs or values. Nevertheless, among the three roles, I find psychiatry the most appealing given that it is a diverse discipline. Dealing with unique clients every day is a rewarding experience. Being able to diagnose and treat mental conditions is satisfying since it provides an avenue for following up a patient's progress right from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. A greater understanding of mental health can be gained through the practice since it is quite engaging. The plan is to follow this career path because I believe that it will lead me to achieve my career goals.

To achieve the goal, there are strategies that I plan to follow and the first one is to attain the academic requirements by completing a bachelor's degree and following that by doing a medical degree. In addition to meeting the academic requirements, I will have to complete the required years of residency. This is a particularly important step in attaining the goal since it develops the skill needed in the field. After finishing the residency years, I will seek to get a practicing license from the states medical board. Although it is not compulsory to become board certified, I intend to get certified since it will demonstrate my competence and enhance my employment opportunities.

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