The Program Therapist performs social services functions to include assisting patients in meeting their bio psychosocial needs while enabling them to access through therapeutic treatment skills to achieve their optimal level of emotional health, including providing basic consultation, teaching, complete specialized clinical social work services for patients/families receiving care, crisis intervention, short-term and long-term family therapy, and providing information and referrals as needed.
STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE THIS POSITION WILL BE EVALUATED BASED UPON SOCIAL SERVICES PRACTICE/COMPETENCIES, AS WELL AS THERAPEUTIC PRACTICES COMPETENCIES AS LISTED BELOW.
Social Services Practices/Competencies
- Formulate and conduct educational, therapeutic, and/or support groups.
- Communicate effectively with patients, families, health care team members and community providers regarding patient status and progress.
- Interact and communicate with community agencies in assessment of and service to patients.
- Provide liaison and referral services to community agencies and appears in court when requested or subpoenaed.
- Maintain confidentiality in compliance with professional ethics according to professional and facility standards.
- Identify opportunities for the program and participate in Performance Improvement projects and activities.
- Continue professional development in individual, family, and group therapy and maintain professional development in personnel file.
- Assist in the orientation of new colleagues and supervising student interns.
- Conduct individual/couples/family counseling on scheduled time tables.
- Develop an effective working relationship with patient and/or family (engagement, collaboration, advocacy, problem solving).
- Evaluate and document effectiveness of interventions and patient responses.
- Comply with required standards for medical/legal reporting situations (i.e. child abuse, dependent adult abuse, psychiatric commitment).
- Represent the facility at legal hearings as requested, submits paperwork for legal holds in a timely fashion, act as liaison with conservator’s office.
- Assess and identify psychosocial, educational, developmental and behavioral functioning of the patient/family system through established case finding mechanisms.
- Document assessment update when there are significant changes in patient’s condition or readmission in the last thirty days.
- Consult with families on emotional, social and financial aspects of care.
- Respond to requests for social work services in a timely manner.
- Meet the social work needs of the patient population being serviced.
- Contribute to the effective functioning of the patient’s program and other facility-wide activities.
- Report unsafe conditions to appropriate personnel.
- Assure that patient’s rights are upheld.
- Demonstrate knowledge of bio psychosocial factors and DSM-IV related to the ages of the patients served, and incorporate the knowledge base into the treatment plan.
- Participate in, and effectively contributes to, patient care conferences, treatment planning meetings and/or treatment planning rounds.
- Demonstrate a professional attitude and supports the objectives of the facility’s business development/marketing and guest relations philosophy through internal and external communications and interactions with all levels of staff, patients, family members, guests, community and referral sources.
- Utilize a variety of techniques to assist in the resolution of patient problems.
- Effectively employ principles of communication, interviewing techniques, problem solving and crisis intervention when performing psychotherapeutic interventions.
- Ensure interventions are carried out in the patient’s plan of care.
- Utilize appropriate interventions in psychiatric emergencies.
- Document and report infections to the Infection Control Nurse.
- Assist with reviewing all new admissions to ensure completion of essential paperwork.
- Utilizes universal precautions when caring for a patient.
- Assures patients are adequately oriented to the program.
- Monitor program activities and encourage patient participation.
- Uses self as a role model to promote health communication.
- Develop and facilitate groups for patients and/or significant others as appropriate.
- Participate in the development of an interdisciplinary treatment plan based on patient assessment/needs in compliance with facility time frames.
- Ensure that the treatment plan has specific measurable goals, objectives and interventions defining actions unique to each patient’s needs.
- As appropriate, when goals/objectives are met, participate in revision and update.
- Assigns and directs other personnel in the implementation of the nursing care plans and verifies this care through direct observation and review of the chart.
- Provide education to patients and families based on their identified needs and limitations in learning.
- Promote learning experiences and provide educational materials to patients and their families.
- Evaluate and document effectiveness of all patient teaching.
- Provide opportunities for patient and families to questions, discuss and explore their feelings about prescribed therapies/interventions/diagnosis.
Specific Standards for the Care of Child Patients Ages 5 through 11
- Maintain knowledge of the Child Program rules, protocols and handbooks guidelines.
- Maintain knowledge of children’s stages of development and seek guidance from the nurse in charge when questions about the norms for behavior related to child development arise.
- Assess patients for behaviors consistent with the developmental stages and make note of any deviations in behavior.
- Recognize acting out behavior of child specific age group and set appropriate limits in clear, concise, behavioral and non-judgmental terms based on the age of the patient.
- Demonstrate an awareness of learning disabilities and translates treatment/program expectations to the learning disabled child.
- Relate to child patients in an age appropriate manner.
- Utilize seclusion and restraint procedures with an understanding of the need for modification in regard to smaller body sizes of children, abandonment issues and the history of physical and/or sexual abuse issue.
- Act as a resource to other staff in regard to the Child Patient Programs.
Specific Standards for the Care of Adolescent Patients Ages 12 through 18
- Maintain knowledge of the Adolescent Program rules, protocols and handbooks guidelines.
- Assess patients for behaviors consistent with the developmental stages and makes note of any deviations in behavior.
- Recognize acting out behavior of adolescent specific age group and set appropriate limits in clear, concise, behavioral and non-judgmental terms based on the age of the patient.
- Demonstrate an awareness of learning disabilities and translates treatment/program expectations to the learning disabled adolescent.
- Relate to adolescent patients in an age appropriate manner.
- Utilize seclusion and restraint procedures with an understanding of the need for modification in regard to smaller body sizes of adolescents, abandonment issues and the history of physical and/or sexual abuse issue.
- Act as a resource to other staff in regard to the Adolescent Patient Programs.
Specific Standards for the Care of Adult Patients Ages 19 through 64
- Gather information from the patient, family and interdisciplinary team and use judgments based on knowledge of adult behaviors in treatment planning and interventions.
- Recognize behaviors and set appropriate limits in clear, concise, behaviors and non-judgmental terms.
- Utilize seclusion/restraint procedures applicable to adult body size and past history of violent or emotional behaviors.
- Maintain current knowledge of the Adult Program rules, protocols and handbook guidelines.
- Utilize theoretical concepts to guide the effective practice of adult care within Specific Standards of Care for this age group.
Specific Standards for the Care of Geriatric Patients Ages 65 and older
- Maintain knowledge of the developmental tasks and sociological theories of aging.
- Utilize theoretical concepts to guide the effective practice of gerontological health care and behavioral care.
- Gather the appropriate information from the patient, family and interdisciplinary team and use therapeutic judgments based on knowledge of gerontological health/behavioral care practices to develop a comprehensive plan of care.
- Utilize interventions based on gerontological theory to restore patient’s functional capabilities and to prevent complications and excess disability.
- Maintain a complete knowledge of treatments, medications and side effects of such in the geriatric age group.
Specific Standards for the Care of Chemically Dependent Patients
- Assesses patient needs as related to chemical dependency and document the plan of care from the admission through discharge.
- Collaborate with other chemical dependency staff professionals in planning for discharge and follow-up care.
- Maintain an awareness of how personal issues relating the co-dependency can impact work performance/relationships.
- Recognize and establish limits on medication-seeking behaviors.
- Adhere to facility, department, corporate, personnel and standard policies and procedures.
- Attend all mandatory facility in-services and staff development activities as scheduled.
- Adhere to facility standards concerning conduct, dress, attendance and punctuality.
- Support facility-wide quality/performance improvement goals and objectives.
- Maintain confidentiality of facility employees and patient information.
Note: The essential job functions of this position are not limited to the duties listed above.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- Knowledge of family and group therapy techniques.
- Knowledge of crisis intervention procedures.
- Knowledge of strong clinical assessment skills.
- Knowledge of therapeutic planning and techniques.
- Strong clinical assessment skills
- Skill in organizing and prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines.
- Skill in telephone etiquette and paging procedures.
- Effective oral and written communication skills.
- Ability to communicate effectively with patients and co-workers.
- Ability to adhere to safety policies and procedures.
- Ability to use good judgment and to maintain confidentiality of information.
- Ability to work as a team player.
- Ability to demonstrate tact, resourcefulness, patience and dedication.
- Ability to accept direction and adhere to policies and procedures.
- Ability to recognize the importance of adapting to the various patient age groups (adolescent, adult and geriatric).
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to meet corporate deadlines.
- Ability to react calmly and effectively in emergency situations.
PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPECIAL DEMANDS
- Ability to lift, push, pull, twist and stoop in the delivery of patient care.
- Ability to be ambulatory.
- Ability to works inside with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.
- Visual acuity is necessary for accuracy in reading and documenting in patient medical charts.
- Skilled in the use of a micro cassette recorder and a hospital Dictaphone system.
- Ability to respond in a crisis to angry, sometimes disorganized, psychotic and/or verbally and physically abusive patients maintaining focus on patient and staff
MACHINES, TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, AND OTHER WORK AIDES:
- Various therapy aids.
- Telephone and paging systems.
- Copy machine.
- Program equipment and supplies.
- Digital pager.