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MSW vs OT vs Mental health nursing

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by hall, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. hall

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    Are OTs and mental health nurses gaining favour as providers of clinical mental health care among employers/insurers, over the others? Job ads suggest this is true.

    I know that historically, there's been fierce competition in the broader mental health arena (psychologists wanting prescribing rights; MSWs wanting assessment responsibilities; OTs seeking a masters-level minimum for registration; insurers wanting whoever's cheapest and legal).

    Have read that while social workers enjoy a wider scope of practice (and employability), they find themselves shouldering more cases than they can bear. And that right now, OTs are afforded time to work with patients one on one (there are loads of OTs claiming this is one reason why they find their work rewarding). And OTs are enjoying higher pay than social workers. Am imagining this could easily change.

    Have also read that in times of scarcity, nurses are more likely to survive than allied health professionals (OTs, social workers, not to mention counsellors and similar; also, other rehab pros, like SPTs and PTs).

    Like many, I would have pursued psychology if the road weren't quite so long. Am 35, scientifically minded and genuinely interested in research as well as clinical practice. Am also broke and unwilling to start earning at 42.

    I'm looking for a terminal masters that has a prospect of remaining viable over the next decade at least. Would happily take on CPD that could gear it to my interests (mood disorders in adults and children; adjustment to 'life problems'). Am not so keen on bum-wiping.

    Would appreciate experiences/insight related to the realities of these various professions, and their current and projected market value.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    There may be minimal cross over in each of those areas, but they really are still distinct areas of practice. I would talk to folks in each area about the day to day work because that is what you'll be doing for 40-50+hr/wk.
     
  4. hall

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    Appreciate your reply, and agree. I've interviewed social workers and psychologists. (Have done some deep browsing re the others.)

    It's just that I'm seeing an increasing number of job postings, from hospitals particularly, recruiting social workers/OTs/nurses for the same role. Often, these are case management or supervisor roles, for departments across the board, including psychiatry. Am also seeing postings for OTs in schools, which I hadn't noticed in the past. (Have been lurking around the health professions for probably a decade.)

    I'm sure there are national and regional differences - I'm based in Canada (Ontario).

    Just wondered if what I'm seeing is a fair barometer of employment trends, everything else aside.

    I'd do my best to gear my training towards my interests; the ultimate aim would be to mix contract work with private practice.

    So far, I could actually see myself doing the fleet footed work of social work (referrals, intake, advocacy). My undergrad was in anthropology (philosophy of mind minor), and I've worked in non-profits; I'm very sympathetic to the person-in-his/her-environment perspective. But I've long held a deep and personal passion for psychology (including cog-sci, social, most branches really).

    That said, right now, I'm particularly interested in hiring trends and projections, though your point is valid, and taken.
     
  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Given your followup post, social work probably is a better fit than OT. I can't speak to all of the realms of OT, but I have worked with OTs in the rehabilitation setting (in-patient and out-patient), and while they do advocate some for their patients, they primarily handle the nuts and bolts of daily living. It definitely takes a certain kind of personality to do OT well; I get tired just talking with most of my OTs! :laugh:
     
  6. hall

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    Ha! I think I get what you're saying :)

    Appreciate your insight. I suspect you might be right. Also, the MSW seems to be the shortest, quickest route to employment in my situation. Salaries, I guess, are another question.
     
  7. skywalking1990

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    hello,

    What did you end up deciding on?
     
  8. psych.meout

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  9. prodigiousflame

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    Don't do OT thinking you'll get a mental health/therapist type position. You probably won't. I'm one of those who don't have the personality of an ot but I chose it because I came to a point where it seemed more feasible than a phd in psych. Well I'm sort of--okay I'm definitely paying for it. The poster was right..you have to have a certain knack for it. The nature of the work will seem dull for someone who resonates more with psychology. Ot in mental health is more about crafts, helping people manage their daily affairs and finding meaningful activities to do with their time so they can become more functional. If this does not sound fascinating to you then by all means go a different route to get your mental health fix. The schooling is also expensive and rigorous to get an ot degree. The salaries in mental health are lower than let's say working in a snf as well--unfortunately I work for a snf and tbh my salary is nothing to write home about :/
     
  10. prodigiousflame

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    Oh oops...just realized how old this thread is...oh well maybe itll benefit someone
     
  11. ptm33

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    Well, the resurrection of this thread is beneficial to my wandering soul-searching quest right now. I want to get in on helping / healing people but realizing that I am not too excited about the "medicine" aspect of the medicine (I, myself, avoid using medication but I am more proned towards applying psychotherapy-related, meditation, or non medicinal remedy for, say, when I am childbearing; giving birth and breastfeeding, have sleep problems, or feeling non-life threatening pain -- hmm how did I relate all that to this). Anyway, I was told being a psychiatrist gives you the power to utilize medicine but as an OT (or PT), you exhaust all other measures first to trouble shoot a problem before using medicine - is this correct?

    I guess as OP put it, these are all admirable occupation: nurses wipe bums (they are the group that helped me and family so much that they inspired me towards this direction in the first place so that statement is out of deep respect and admiration - they're the profession that really goes ALL IN), and I want to add MSW deals with a lot of paperwork.. so, OT would be my vote for OP.

    OP, would love to hear what you ended up deciding and how it is working out for you.
     
  12. prodigiousflame

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    Don't be mistaken, theres a TON of paperwork involved in ot but you're also expected to see a full caseload of patients in a very limited amount of time so productivity is an issue. Like I said--the nature of ot's work is very different from psychology. If your passion is to help someone independently cook, dress, toilet, or bathe--and in mental health settings crafts, money management, etc then ot is for you. The impression I get from op is they lean towards psych which again is not what ot is--but they want the ot salary with it.
     
    ptm33 likes this.

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