NURS 6660 Week 2 Assessment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Essay Assignment

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NURS 6660 Week 2 Assessment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Essay Assignment

Kathryn Barnard was a nurse first and second an early developmental specialist with a PhD in early ecological development. Dr. Barnard, with her nursing background, was instrumental in developing assessment tools and interventions to promote infant mental health. A center is named after her at the University of Washington, aptly named the Kathryn Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development. Dr. Barnard reminds us that mental health is lifelong. Proper treatment of children from their earliest moments is instrumental to their development. One of her sayings was “infants can’t wait” (Weber, 2015).

All diagnosis, from infancy to adulthood, begins with an examination. While an organic basis for most medical disorders can be determined through the use of diagnostic testing, the field of psychiatry is different in that patients cannot be sent to the lab for blood tests to determine the degree of depression. Similarly, patients cannot be sent to the radiology department for a “scan” to determine how severe their bipolar disorder is. Instead, the field of psychiatry must use psychiatric assessments such as the comprehensive integrated physical exam, diagnostic interviews, and questionnaires to make diagnoses. These tools must be specialized to address the needs of children and adolescents.

Diagnostic assessment of the child and adolescent is a specialized area of expertise. Some of the diagnostic and clinical features will be like your assessment of the adult. However, the PMHNP will be seeing children who have been to the PCP. Many PCPs are comfortable handling ADHD and other straightforward childhood disorders. That means that the PMHNP and those in his or her office will be seeing the more complicated patients.

This week, you explore the many different psychiatric assessment tools and begin to explore treatment options. You also begin developing your resume and portfolio.

Infant, childhood, and adolescent development are a continual interplay between nature (genetic or biologic predisposition) and nurture (environmental experiences). The nature/nurture continuum and debate will always be a part of your career as a PMHNP.  Knowing common developmental milestone is important in the role as a child provider. Not only is it essential to the diagnostic process, but it is also important to the interdisciplinary interactions with other mental health professionals. The study of normal developmental processes, however, is only one tool that allows the mental health professional to understand the child being evaluated. There are many different assessment instruments and interviewing techniques that PMHNPs can have in their toolkit when working with children and adolescents.

In this Discussion, you examine the differences in assessing and treating children and adolescents versus adults. You take into consideration your own clinical experiences, as well as your experiences in your clinical rotation, and the information from the readings thus far.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the importance of developmental assessments
  • Analyze assessment instruments used for evaluating children and adolescents
  • Analyze treatment options used for children and adolescents
  • Analyze roles parents play in assessment and treatment

To Prepare for the Discussion

  • Review the Learning Resources concerning psychiatric assessments and assessment tools.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!

By Day 3

Post your answers to the following:

  • Explain why a developmental assessment of children and adolescents is important.
  • Describe two assessment instruments and explain why they are used for children and adolescents but not adults.
  • Describe two treatment options for children and adolescents that may not be used when treating adults.
  • Explain the role parents play in assessment and treatment.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by offering additional insights or alternative perspectives on their diagnosis or provide alternate next questions and why you selected those.

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