A Mixed Methods Examination of MSW Student Satisfaction With Integrated Behavioral Health Field Placements

Authors

  • Michael Clarkson-Hendrix State University of New York at Fredonia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7584-8979
  • Lynn A. Warner University at Albany, State University of New York

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18060/23377

Keywords:

student satisfaction, integrated health, field placements

Abstract

Social workers must be prepared to work effectively within systems that attempt to maximize coordination where integrated behavioral health care is provided. Current students are the profession’s pipeline to the behavioral health workforce. If social work students are dissatisfied with the training they receive in integrated health care settings, they may be deterred from interprofessional collaborative practice. This study examined MSW students’ satisfaction with integrated behavioral health field placement experiences. Thirty-three students completed an online survey that asked about factors associated with field placement satisfaction, and nine of these students participated in two focus groups to explore other aspects of the field setting that influenced satisfaction. Survey results revealed that as role ambiguity increased, student satisfaction decreased. Focus group findings uncovered that the profession’s influence within the field setting and the presence of support by professionals from other disciplines promoted students’ satisfaction. These results suggest that educators should help students develop skills in tolerating role ambiguity and asking for role clarification as part of supervision when placements are in these settings. MSW faculty and field education directors may want to collaborate with integrated behavioral health providers to assess organizational climate and identify ways to foster inclusive interprofessional collaborative practices and a culture of cross-profession respect.

Author Biographies

Michael Clarkson-Hendrix, State University of New York at Fredonia

Michael Clarkson-Hendrix, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociocultural and Justice Sciences at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Michael’s research targets health services, with a focus on reducing sociodemographic disparities in access and quality of care, especially for vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities and veterans and their families. Michael has extensive practice experience in the areas of mental and behavioral health as well as child welfare.

Lynn A. Warner, University at Albany, State University of New York

Lynn Warner is Professor and Dean of the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests are in disparities in access to and utilization of mental health and substance abuse services and racial-ethnic differences in behavioral health risk and protective factors.

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Published

2020-09-10