Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health Specialty


I’m so proud to introduce the pediatric
behavioral mental health program to the School of Nursing it’s just exactly what
we need across our nation and this this opportunity to do didactic and clinical
immersion is really going to prepare advanced practice nurses to deliver care
right where it’s needed across the nation the program is going to be
available to family and adult nurse practitioners particularly those who see
early adolescents and it will be available to to those clinicians who are
already serving in the role but they want this skill set they want this
knowledge so that they can apply it in their clinical practice well the biggest feature and one of the most important things from my standpoint is
PNCB now requires this graduate level elective so it’s very difficult to get
a program that has been specifically tailored to meet the criteria that are
needed to function in this role in primary care as well as to be able to
sit for the certification exam and so DUSON has done it just an unbelievable
job of laying this out so that you coming in as a student it this is
exactly what I need to know this is what I’m gonna see in practice and I know I’m
going to be successful to obtain certification as a clinician I’ve been a
nurse practitioner in pediatrics for more than 20 years and what I was seeing
is more than half of the patients that I was caring for on a daily basis actually
were coming in with some kind of concern mental health concern either a
issue at school a social issue a sleep issue perhaps an eating issue feeling
anxious feeling sad or just having struggles personal struggles and so it
would fall over into the behavioral mental health arena rather than a
physical problem and I wasn’t equipped to actually manage them even though I
was seeing this becoming more and more prevalent
so really what I’m feeling is I we already established ourselves as as
excellent pediatric primary care development program like we really know
that we do that really well but we’re missing that we were missing this whole
portion of preparation and training for the providers who are going to go out
and take care of kids in modern America pediatric mental health just like all
mental health in the country we’re it is greatly impacted by stigma so just to
give you some basic statistics only about 30% of people actually seek care
for the mental health issues that they’re dealing with and of that 30%
those are met with access issues lacking insurance coverage or inadequate
insurance coverage in order to gain those services and then getting to a
qualified provider because as our population is growing we have less and
less psychiatrists basically somewhere between 1 and 10 per hundred thousand
people which is not a lot where as primary care providers we have about a
hundred and so moving mental health assessment management into primary care
is the solution if you can go to your primary care provider and if you’re
struggling with some depression or anxiety or an adjustment disorder
because you’d have a death in your family things like that you can get
immediate access to someone who can give you some information talk to you about
how serious this is do we need counseling what do we need
from there and then you’re not struggling by yourself
PEDS is unique and pediatric mental health is unique because
obviously you’re dealing with family dynamics
a lot of the mental health disorders in kids are really more behavioral then
they are mental health related and so it’s important to be able to tease out
what is behavioral and is in a response maybe to a poor parenting practice or too
rigid or just too demanding versus what is truly a mental health issue that’s
occurring students would learn the didactic information in the two courses
they take and then they’ll go directly into a clinical setting and be able to
apply it it won’t just be up here in their in their skill set but actually
applicable synthesized into the work that they’re doing as they’re preparing
to become nurse practitioners I think that’s really unique in that you would
have distance based learning the same as all of the other curriculum with true
experts in the field but then you’ll be able to apply that directly through your
clinical course well the very first course the students will take is the
pediatric mental health one course it’s all distance based with group work
that’s actually virtual online so if learners could be within their community
and still collaborating with Dr. Pepper’s myself and the other experts in the
course and their peers there’s no on-campus requirement in that
specific course the second course that’s their pediatric mental health II which
would prepare them to go to clinical does have an on-campus intensive similar
to what the other management courses have and that is where we will do things
like case studies work with standardized patients actually apply some of these
assessment and management skills but in a safe setting in the simulation lab
then students would be prepared to go into the clinical setting which is their
third and final course in the specialty actually my true vision is that they
will serve primarily in primary care settings so that they are integrated
right into practice where healthy children are being seen on a regular
basis and we’re just integrating our skills of assessment and really being
thoughtful about management and if needed referral skills but mostly being
able to address the needs right right where children are coming every day I
also envision that that our graduates will use the skills in specialty
clinics there are more and more children with chronic conditions they have
comorbidities of behavioral mental health issues that our graduates could
absolutely address if they were working in a specialty setting there are many
other places that pediatric nurse practitioners work including
school-based health centers community health centers we even see nurses who
travel and deliver care right in their homes and I’m envisioning that this
preparation is going to be applicable in every single one of those settings where
our graduates are going to be working

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