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阿拉斯加开始强制要求对心理学家进行背景调查

阿拉斯加可能很快就会出台一项新法律,要求所有在该州工作的专业心理学家接受背景调查。据美联社报道,阿拉斯加州立法机构正在考虑一项法案,将背景调查作为许可程序的强制性组成部分。

听到并非所有执业心理学家都经过背景调查才能获得执照,这可能会让一些人感到惊讶。毕竟,大多数州都要求医生、护士和其他医疗保健专业人员在获准执业之前通过刑事筛查程序。制定这些政策是为了保护患者的安全和福祉,并确保可以建立在信任基础上的医患关系。

但是,虽然心理学家和患者之间的关系绝对是信任至关重要的关系,但阿拉斯加法律目前并不要求执业心理学家接受背景调查。不过,这与州心理学家和心理学副考官委员会的愿望背道而驰。事实上,美联社采访的一位董事会成员说委员会已经工作了“几年”,使犯罪背景调查成为许可过程的标准部分。到目前为止,它们都是空的。这是因为阿拉斯加心理学家和心理学副考官委员会并不完全负责心理学家如何在该州获得执照。为了对申请人进行背景调查,董事会需要国家批准。换句话说,董事会需要州立法机构通过一项法律,明确要求将背景调查添加到许可过程中。

不过,从表面上看,董事会的愿望终于可以实现了。目前正在通过立法机构的一项新法案最终将使阿拉斯加的心理学家背景调查成为现实。参议院劳工和商务委员会最近审查了该法案,并批准了参议院全体成员的审议。如果通过,这项新法律将对一个有太多失败可能性的系统进行急需的改革。目前在阿拉斯加执业的心理学家执照制度主要依赖于荣誉制度,要求申请人披露他们的犯罪历史。阿拉斯加州还会检查其他州的心理学家执照,以确保该从业者的信誉良好

Associated Press, the Alaska legislature is considering a bill that would make background checks a mandatory component of the licensing process.

It might surprise some people to hear that not all practicing psychologists do have go through background checks to obtain a license. After all, most states require doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to go through criminal screening processes prior to being allowed to practice. These policies are in place to protect the safety and well being of patients, as well as to ensure a doctor-patient relationship that can be based on trust.

But while a relationship between a psychologist and a patient is absolutely one where trust is key, Alaska laws don't currently require practicing psychologists to face background checks. That's contrary to the desires of the state Board of Psychologists and Psychological Associate Examiners, though. Indeed, one board member interviewed by the Associated Press said that the board has been working for "several years" to make criminal background checks a standard part of the licensing process. So far, they've come up empty. That's because the Alaska Board of Psychologists and Psychological Associate Examiners isn't completely in charge of how psychologists get licensed in the state. In order to conduct background checks on applicants, the board needs state approval. In other words, the board needs the state legislature to pass a law expressly calling for background checks to be added to the licensing process.

From the looks of it, though, the board's wishes could finally be coming to fruition. A new bill currently working its way through the legislature would finally make psychologist background checks a reality in Alaska. The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee recently reviewed the bill and approved it for consideration by the full Senate. If passed, this new law would bring a much-needed overhaul to a system that has far too much potential for failure. The current system for licensing psychologists to practice in Alaska relies primarily on an honor system, asking applicants to disclose their criminal history. Alaska also checks a psychologist's license in other states, to make sure the practitioner is in good standing


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