Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology

Ethics & Law in Florida PsychologyPsychologists licensed to practice in the State of Florida are required to complete – upon each biennial renewal of their professional license – a three-hour CE course covering professional ethics and Florida Statutes and rules affecting the practice of psychology. The continuing education course, Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology, was written to meet this requirement and is based on these four documents:

  1. The Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association
  2. The Florida Health Professions and Occupations General Provisions
  3. The Florida Psychological Services Act
  4. The Florida Administrative Code: Board of Psychology

“The intent of the biennial CE requirement, according to the Florida Administrative Code, is to ‘to enhance the psychological skills and/or psychological knowledge of the licensee,’” says Leo Christie, PhD, president of Professional Development Resources. “As an example, a critical issue in healthcare ethics is the concern for privacy in handling clients’ personal information. This is far more challenging today than it was even a decade ago. The pervasive use of electronic communication technologies like cell phones, laptops, email, the Internet, and social networking has created an environment in which new protections must be implemented. Psychologists need to be trained in the most current procedures for safeguarding their clients’ protected health information in the recording, storage, and transmission of electronic communications.”

The new Professional Development Resources online CE course Ethics & Law in Florida Psychology includes sections on distinguishing between the concepts of law and ethics, deciding what to do when ethics and the law are in conflict, understanding multiple relationships, knowing when a client’s confidentiality can – and should – be broken, resolving ethical dilemmas posed by the Patriot Act, and identifying legal restrictions placed upon sexual intimacies between psychologists and clients.

“I am occasionally asked why it is necessary to keep taking an ethics and law course again and again over one’s career,” says Christie. “My response is always the same: There are five fundamental reasons for psychologists to study ethical theories, principles, and laws on a regular basis. First, therapy is important work; it can never be taken lightly. Second, ethical and legal practice is not simple; in fact it is occasionally overwhelmingly complex. Third, psychologists – like all human beings – are subject to certain prejudices, biases, and blind spots; they must be discovered and understood. Fourth, the practice and process of psychotherapy is a dynamic – not a static – process; the world and the psychologists in it change with time and technology. And, fifth, to the extent that psychologists effectively regulate themselves, they will be able to maintain professional autonomy and avoid undue intrusions by outside parties.”

By May 31, 2014 all Florida psychologists must complete their required 40 hours of continuing education courses and renew their professional licenses. In addition to the ethics and law course, they are also required to complete a course on Preventing Medical Errors, and – every six years – a course on Domestic Violence.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635).

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology

Over the past 20 years, medical errors that result in patient injury or even death have become the focus of attention in both popular and professional publications. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines a medical error as: “The failure to complete a planned action as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.” Medical errors – which can occur in either the planning stage or the execution stage – are frequently communication errors, which are, unfortunately, very common in health care.

A 2011 Consumer Reports Poll on Hospital Safety interviewed 1,026 adults ages 18+ using a nationally representative probability sample. The results:

  • 77% expressed high or moderate concern re: harm by hospital infection during hospital stay
  • 71% expressed high or moderate concern re: harm by a medication error
  • 65% were similarly concerned about surgical errors

 

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language PathologyIn the State of Florida, speech-language pathologists and other health professionals are required to complete a course on the prevention of medical errors each time they renew their license. Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to help SLPs be vigilant to the kinds of medical errors that can occur in their practice and take proactive steps to prevent them. This course addresses the impact of medical errors on today’s healthcare with a focus on root cause analysis, error reduction and prevention, and patient safety. Multiple scenarios of real and potential errors in the practice of speech-language pathology are included, along with recommended strategies for preventing them. Evidence shows that the most effective error prevention occurs when a partnership exists among care facilities, health care professionals, and the patients they treat. Suggested strategies for preventing errors address all three elements: (1) models for changing the culture in care facilities, (2) lifelong learning for SLPs that is focused on ethical, evidence-based, culturally competent practice and (3) tools for educating and empowering patients. * This course satisfies the medical errors requirement for biennial relicensure of Florida speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Course #20-77 | 2013 | 35 pages | 21 posttest questions | ASHA credit expires 4/20/2016.

One the most common medical procedures in which speech-language pathologists have a primary role is the evaluation and treatment of swallowing and feeding disorders. Because of the nature of swallowing disorders, treatment is frequently complex, and a number of dysphagia management issues have become very contentious. In addition, the potential for error, adverse outcomes and litigation is significant.

“This newly revised course teaches everyday strategies for preventing errors that can occur in the practice of speech-language pathology,” says Leo Christie, President and CEO of Professional Development Resources. “Rather than targeting individuals when a medical error happens, efforts today are focused upon those elements in the work environment like fatigue or distraction that can lead medical errors. This approach of focusing on system error over human error has proved to be useful in reducing the risk of patient injury.”

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology also includes a section on race and ethnicity. The authors point out that there is an increasing need for bilingual health professionals to serve the rapidly growing ethic segments of our population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), minorities comprise 37% of the U.S population. When professionals are not familiar with the cultural norms, customs, and languages of their patients, miscommunications can arise and cause serious diagnostic and treatment errors.

The course describes in detail a number of patient safety goals and concludes with a series of recommendations for improving interpersonal communication in order to prevent medical errors. Recommended strategies include the following:

  1. Slow down, speak slowly and spend a small amount of additional time with each patient
  2. Use plain, nonmedical language. Explain things as you would to your own grandmother.
  3. Show or draw pictures to help your patient understand and remember.
  4. Limit the amount of information provided, and repeat it.
  5. Use the “teach-back” technique to confirm that the patient understands.
  6. Create a shame-free environment by encouraging questions.
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Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology

Click on image to view course details

2-hour course required for license renewal of Florida SLPs and Audiologists on December 31, 2011.

This course addresses the impact of medical errors on today’s healthcare with a focus on root cause analysis, error reduction and prevention, and patient safety. Multiple scenarios of real and potential errors in the practice of speech-language pathology are included, along with recommended strategies for preventing them. Evidence shows that the most effective error prevention occurs when a partnership exists among care facilities, health care professionals, and the patients they treat. Suggested strategies for preventing errors address all three elements: (1) models for changing the culture in care facilities, (2) lifelong learning for SLPs that is focused on ethical, evidence-based, culturally competent practice, and (3) tools for educating and empowering patients. 2010 | 33 pages | 16 posttest questions | Course #20-10S

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Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology

Florida-licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists are required to complete 2 hours of continuing education on the Prevention of Medical Errors every 2 years for their license renewal. The same course can be taken every 2 years as it is considered a “refresher” of the knowledge. To be accepted by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the course must either be offered by an ASHA-approved provider or by a provider approved by another Florida licensing board.

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language PathologyProfessional Development Resources now offers a 2-hour course on Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology to meet this requirement. The course is registered with ASHA for 0.2 CEUs and is available online for immediate access. PDResources reports course completions to ASHA (as long as requested to by student on enrollment) on a quarterly basis. ASHA is responsible for reporting course completions to Florida’s CE Broker. If not an ASHA member, the licensee is responsible for reporting their own course completions to CE Broker.

Professional Development Resources is an approved provider of continuing education for healthcare professionals by the following:

AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASHA: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (AAUM)
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114)