says Slone, who is board certified in psychopharmacology.
“We have some credentials to recommend medications to the
attending physicians or the neurologists or other physicians
working with patients.”
No matter what the problem, the process begins when
a physician calls the practice’s dispatch line to request
a consult. During their assessments, the psychologists
work with emergency room physicians, trauma surgeons,
neurologists, infectious disease specialists and other types
of physicians as well as nurses, trauma nurse practitioners,
case managers and family members. There’s also plenty of
informal discussion with other professionals in the common
“dictation rooms” where physicians and others write their
Working with hospitalized patients can be challenging, Slone
admits. For one thing, most of his patients are in crisis.
“We sometimes see patients who have jumped off the Sunshine
Skyway Bridge — the highest in the area — and survived or
patients who have shot or stabbed themselves,” he says.
He and his colleagues must also have the confidence to make
decisions about releasing patients who have been involuntarily
committed, with all the potential liability that involves. Plus, they
must be willing to work very long hours, if necessary.
But this kind of work represents a big potential growth area
for psychologists who can handle such pressures, says Slone,
who hopes to expand his practice.
“We’ve been quite short-handed,” he says, adding that bringing
more psychologists on board could allow the practice to do more
psychological and behavioral interventions with patients. “Right
now, we don’t have time to do as much as we’d like.” n
Watch integrated care in action
APA’s Center for Psychology and Health has
added a sixth installment in its “Psychologists
in Integrated Care” free online video series. The
Interprofessional Team Care for Wellbeing video
enhances the current library by highlighting
how different professions can work together
to improve health outcomes. From training to
delivering patient care, psychologists working
alongside other health professions can improve
care and practice for both the patient and the
clinicians. To watch the video, go to www.apa.
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