Perceptions that social workers and occupational health nurses in the Pietermaritzburg region have, of clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and priests.
Bhagwandeen, Yuraisha Bianca.
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This study involved an investigation of the perceptions that social workers and occupational health nurses have, of clinical and counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and priests. The present study includes a sample of social workers and occupational health nurses in the Pietermaritzburg region. Subjects were required to i) rate their confidence in the ability of each of these professionals to treat 5 clinical cases, ii) rate their confidence in each of the professionals to help them with their own problems iii) rate each of the 5 cases in terms of the severity of each case, iv) rate each of these practitioners on 11 personal qualities developed by Webb and Speer (1986), and v) choose from a list of 10 professions the one they would like their off-spring to persue. Repeated measures anovas, Tukey's HSD test, and descriptive statistics, were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that the sample i) was moderately confident in the abilities of psychologists to treat 5 cases ii) was moderately confident in the abilities of psychologists to treat their own problems, iii) rated case 3 as being most severe and psychiatrists as being more competent to treat this 'severe' case, iv) rated psychologists quite favourably in terms of personal qualities, and chose engineers and accountants above psychologists. Further analysis revealed that in certain instances, the sample appeared to have a preference for counselling psychologists over clinical psychologists, and rated mental health professionals more favourably than non-mental health professionals. The results also indicated that the sample appeared to lack clarity about the roles, functions and skills of psychologists. Implications for the job security of psychologists, and the need for educational and public relations efforts are discussed.
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