What is a Crisis Intervention Specialist?

Crisis Intervention SpecialistA crisis intervention specialist often works on call hours to remain on top of emergency situations. Often found in hospitals and medical clinics, these professionals help individuals get the treatment that they want right away. They often work with patients who have serious problems that prevent them from functioning properly, and they may work with patients who underwent some type of trauma, including a sexual assault or after a car accident. Students interested in working in this field should look at what a specialist does on the job.

Support for Emotional Problems

Many of the duties of a crisis intervention specialist revolve around the emotional issues and mental health problems plaguing a patient. A rape victim might come to the emergency room for help, and the doctors and nurses on staff will call a specialist for help treating and counseling that patient. Specialists can also identify the symptoms and signs of mental illnesses in others, including the symptoms of depression, schizophrenia or a mood disorder. They help calm the situation and make patients feel calmer until they get the type of therapy or treatment needed.

Drugs and Substance Abuse

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for substance and drug abuse counselors will increase by approximately 31 percent by 2022. Drug counselors are a type of intervention specialists who specifically work with patients addicted to drugs and alcohol. They offer patients help in the form of group therapy sessions and in traditional therapy sessions. Counselors of this type may also work with doctors on the case to determine if the patients need additional treatments in the form of prescription medications or sleeping pills. They provide support to patients in residential treatment centers and those in outpatient facilities.

Crisis Counseling

Crisis counseling is one of the other duties that a crisis intervention specialist performs on a daily basis. Crisis counselors work with patients going through some sort of trauma in the recent past. They might work in a hospital emergency room with victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assaults and kidnappings. Counselors may also work with patients in the midst of some type of shock. Shock can make people shut down and stop talking, which makes it difficult for the police officers working the case to get details about the crime and find the criminals associated with that case.

Where Specialists Work

Working in crisis intervention lets you work in a number of medical facilities. As a substance abuse counselor, you would likely work in a rehabilitation center or a center that specializes in addiction treatment. If you focus more on crisis care, you’ll likely work in a hospital or an urgent care center. The local police department may also have a need for intervention specialists. You can help the police in cases that might lead to violence against one or more people, including hostage situations. Some crisis specialists also operate their own practices and agree to take on cases when needed.

Related Resource: Clinical Social Worker

Professionals trained in different forms of counseling help patients recover from traumatic events and live long and happy lives. While the job is often hard, many find the job rewarding as well. Working as a crisis intervention specialist is a good choice for those who can handle working in potentially dangerous situations and with those who need a high level of help.