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Keeping Track of Clients

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by jz112, Aug 31, 2009.

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  1. jz112

    jz112

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    What do I want to log when I see clients?

    A 5th year graduate student recommended:
    -Age
    -Race/ethnicity
    -Sexual Orientation
    -Gender

    Is there anything else?

    Also, do I log each week with them? Ex: 2 hrs. in one week? Or do I just write how many hours I saw them total? Ex: 200 hrs. over the course of two years?

    Any helpful tools to keep track of this - a sample blank Excel spreadsheet?

    Thx.
  2. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    www.time2track.com.

    Age, gender, sexual orientation, disorder, what you did with them during the contact (ie., therpay, testing, treatment planning, etc) and how long you did it for. You should log it each time you see them. I suggest using time2track.com. You have to get a subscription, but its not much. My program pays for ours. Its well worth it.

    PS: You should also be tracking your non face-to-face hours, such as supervision, test scoring, progress notes and assessment report wrting, didactics, rounds, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  3. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    I thought only supervision counted towards hours now, and they got rid of all the "test scoring, note-taking, etc." hours? I never understood why those were included, it seems to reward people who are really terrible note-takers/report-writers.

    Hopefully there is an "unknown" category for some of the demographics. Half my hours will come from SCIDs and brief behavioral interventions in lab - things like sexual orientation are generally not collected unless it happens to come up.
  4. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Well, more doesn't neccasarily look better....its just information to consider. People (supervisors, practicum sites, internship directors) will want to know how much time you have spent writing reports and how familiar you are with scoring, etc. Theoretically you could have a tons of npsych assessment hours, and very few if any assesment report writing hours if you are just working as a psychometrist. Big diff between having 200 hours of assessment and never writing a report on it, vs. having 200 hours of assesssment and writing a report on each case. If I were a internship or practicum director doing interviews, I'd perfer the person who wrote reports for those assessments. Further, its not safe for people to assume that you are always scoring assessments that you are doing. For example, we are so loaded with patients at my practicum this year, a fulltime psychometrist staff does the scoring and norming for us most of the time. We have to total up subjective stuff like vocab or proverbs and stuff like that, but they do the rest. We write the reports of course. If there is ever anything I dont know how to score (and there's not much at this point), then I of course do it myself so I can learn it.

    Well just cause it not written on the SCID doesnt mean you can't ask it. :laugh:. We ask all our research subjects that during the SCID. I think thats important info to have. More so clinically of course, but still....
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  5. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Hmm. Well I'm rather upset with the folks who told me I didn't need to track that anymore because I honestly have no idea what my hours look like for anything besides supervision and face-to-face.

    And yeah...I guess I could ask, but it seems a bit odd to tangent into something completely irrelevant just for purposes of being able to record my clinical hours.
  6. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Does your program not encourage you to use www.time2track.com, or others similar programs for calculating hours and number of times you have adminstered an specific assessment measure? I cant imagine organizing and trying to total all that stuff for the APPIC apps by hand!
  7. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    You should take a look at the APPI to see what kind of hours they are looking for on their form. If you can't get access to the online app, I can forward you the hours section from last year, which will give you a rough estimate of what they expect people to record. Much of it will be estimation, so don't freak out if you don't know how many "crisis intervention" hours you have.
  8. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I built my own excel sheet that auto-updated. :D I didn't tie in weekly logs to it because I didn't have all of them handy, so I estimated my total hours and went from there. It was really just an excuse to not work on my essays, but it was fun to play with none the less.
  9. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    This is exactly why I think the clinical hours expected by internship has inflated dramatically in the last 20-30 years. People dont keep up and they estimate. Im not a social psychologist, but I find it hard to belive that the natural human tendency in a situation like this is not to round up....way way up considering your career depends on it basically. I think client contact hours before the internship are way inflated these days. Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  10. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    I agree. My program has us record our hours weekly and then checks what we turn in on our internship apps against the records we report. I'm nervous that my hours will be quite deflated compared to those who do not track their hours as often...or compared to those who go back and estimate hours that occurred up to three years prior. I look at some of the numbers posted on APPIC, and they seem quite unrealistic.
  11. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    We use spreadsheets that have been passed down. I have seen the APPIC spreadsheets, but was told early that it had changed and we didn't need to track the time for things like report-writing, just what it was we did. Foolish me slacked off and never confirmed that:( Can't remember who it was that came from though, but apparently I shouldn't have listened. Oh well...I've been pretty meticulous about tracking the lab stuff, and should have all the info I need except for sexual orientation. Not sure if I'll start getting that info in lab or not - it really seems a ridiculous departure and borderline insulting to ask that amidst a brief interview designed to assess gross pathology. Maybe I can see about getting it included on the demographic forms - might be some interesting supplemental analyses there.

    I agree that hours often get inflated, and this has been a popular topic of discussion among friends applying for internship. Some things seem reasonable and don't seem like a big deal to me (e.g. Did that take me 45 minutes or an hour?). Others are just aggregious and downright unethical (e.g. Counting no-shows as clinical hours, or rounding up 5 minute phone calls to an hour of clinical work). There seems to be little interest in making people accountable for it beyond the "Honor system", so its not surprising numbers get inflated. All the time in our school clinic is formally tracked, but other sources there would be little way for anyone to track even if they wanted to. Short of someone from APPIC coming to lab and analyzing the handwriting on different SCIDs and clinical notes, there's no way anyone would know so it is entirely on the individual to be honest about how they report it.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  12. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't appreciate your judgment or tone, but I'll clarify for the others.

    I tracked my hours by category. My spreadsheet was the aggregate of my hours, split between Supervision, Assessment, and Support, though I had to estimate the sub-groups since my weekly logs didn't have those catagories. I had sections for individual v. group, but not split between "Adult Group" v. "Adolescent Group" or "School Consultation" v. "Other Consultation". It was confusing as I ran groups that had both populations, so even if I split them out it'd be an estimation. The totals were all signed off on by my supervisors and reflective of the actual hours put in at my sites, while the "estimation" was done to parse out the sub-groups.

    erg923....where exactly are you in the training process?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  13. psychmama

    psychmama

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    I find it rather offensive to suggest everyone is padding their clinical hours for application to internship. First of all, the AAPI form specifically says it's fine to estimate. While making stuff up or gross inflation is certainly not ok, before we get all freaked about this, you should know that number of hrs reported on the AAPI, beyond a minimum threshold, is considered one of the LEAST important criteria internship sites consider in their decisionmaking about applicants.
  14. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    relax..... I wasnt saying you were.

    I was merely commenting that alot of people have discussed how the nature of the processs and the competitive nature of match naturally results in some students inflating their hours, and I was curious how accurate the totals are in reality...for anyone......

    Im a 4th year. I know I round up and im sure you do to. So I was curious if this results (in aggregate) in a relatively disorted picture. (ie., I logged 500 face to face hours, but how much time did I really spend with clients). Maybe its not much really, I dont know...I havent done the math to see if rounding up by 15 minutes on each of those 500 hours would result in a really huge difference or not. But I would guesstimate that it would easly give you a good 100-200 hous or so. Also curious if this system results in increasing the hours expected by intenship sites when we apply?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  15. psychmama

    psychmama

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    I think maybe one of the reasons that internship training directors rank hours fiarly low on their selection criteria is related to the relative imprecision of tracking/counting them. Even with a program like Time2Track, there's still a lot of wiggle room in what's included.
  16. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    I'm curious about the issue, though, because some of the sites I will likely apply to when the time comes have set a minimum number of hours. A few of these minimums are quite high and may even be high enough to exclude my application. It's a huge incentive to overestimate.
  17. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Just out of curiosity, how high are they? I thought most places were fine if you have 600+ hrs.
  18. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    The UCSD counseling center has a minimum of 700 hours. You know, I could have sworn I saw a couple places with a 1000 hour minimum when I did a search a couple months ago, but my brief look now didn't turn up any. Maybe I'm wrong about that, which would be a relief.

    Still, it's not uncommon to see mean hours for these sites in the 900s to the 1000s.
  19. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd be a bit concerned for places that require a lot of hours, as I'm not sure how much of a different 600 to 1000 hours will really make. If I were a TD, I'd want someone well rounded that I could help train, and that is harder to come by if all they are doing is collecting hours.
  20. psy86

    psy86 Member

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    Just to be clear, I think the rounding issue varies dramatically from program to program. In my program, it was absolutely NOT normative to round up, and my peers and I definitely did not do this. At all. I was somewhat astonished to hear a supervisor (not a product of my graduate program) suggest that I should do this because "everyone does." I now realize that it is apparently common practice in some programs, but not in all.
  21. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    We are indeed encouraged to round up in my program, meaning 50 minute therpay sessions are counted as one hour, 20 minutes treatment planning discussion gets rounded to half hour, and the like. There is a clear line between rounding up and "inflating" and "pading" though according to faculty, But like I said, I think all the rounding adds up once you get several hundred hours. Whatever though, I jsut do what im told, its not worth the fight and I cant change the groupthink mentality around here. I used to work at site the photocopied all the asesment forms too...se la vie.......

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