Benefits and Drawbacks Regarding Prescription Privileges for Psychologists

The demand of the activists have bore positive fruits given that some states such Florida and Georgia allow the psychologists the right to prescribe medication and have even set up prescription training programs to equip the psychologists with these skills. Persons with privileges in prescription of drugs are defined by various Acts and licensing authorities and these groups were small compared to what they are today. Psychologists did not have practicing licenses but this has changed greatly following their licensing in some states. The debate on whether psychologists should be given privileges to prescribe has been met with mixed reactions with some opposing it while others welcome such a move. This paper will evaluate the benefits and the drawbacks of prescription privileges by psychologists. Prescription Privileges for Psychologists Overview The initial bill that sought to give psychologists privileges to prescribe psychiatric medication was first introduced back in 1985 in Hawaii. The bill aimed at giving psychologists within the state a right to prescribe medication to treat nervous, brain disorders and mental problems. However, for a psychologist to enjoy the privilege, one must have a doctorate and go through a certification and training program. Such bills have been introduced in various other jurisdictions throughout the country (American Psychological Association 838). … This was the first law of this kind in the country. Other states have similar bills under discussion and various national associations such as the American Psychological Association and Association of State and Psychology Board has supported granting of prescription privileges to the psychologists and has strongly opposed the regulation of the field of psychology by other professions (American Psychological Association 838). The America Psychological Association (APA) developed guidelines in 2011 which apply to prescription privileges and these guidelines touch on education, assessment, intervention and consultation. The general guidelines encourage psychologists to act within the limits of their profession as regards to prescribing medication such as by seeking consultation before they recommend some medications. Moreover, the guideline requires that a psychologist must evaluate the situation before prescribing drugs based on the own opinion and on the clients gender, health status, age and cultural factors (American Psychological Association 839). APA guidelines recommend that a psychologist must attain a certain level of education particularly in pharmacology before they can gain the privilege to prescribe. The guidelines recommend that psychologists prescribing drugs must be wary of the side effects of the psychiatric medications and should utilize the technological resources available for guidance. APA guidelines also recommended that psychologists must acquit themselves with the procedures available for monitoring the psychological and physiological impacts of such medications and must consider other health conditions which could affect the effectiveness of such medication. As regards intervention, the guidelines require that psychologist use