Att bli sedd i det oförutsägbara Om psykiatrikuratorers upplevelser av införandet av hälso- och sjukvårdskuratorslegitimation
To be seen in the Unpredictable – A Paper about Psychiatric Counselors’
The issue of professional license for counselors working in the Swedish health care system has been debated over the past decades before it came into force 2019. The introduction of the professional license has taken place in parallel with major care ideological changes in the Swedish psychiatric care system. The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of psychiatric counselors’ experiences of the introduction of the professional license for health care counselors. The method chosen for this study was two qualitative group interviews with eight professional counselors working in the psychiatric care system in Sweden. The interviews were analyzed with the basis of role-theoretic perspectives derived from Aubert’s role theory and Abbott’s concept of jurisdiction. Thematic analysis was chosen as the processing method of data. Results showed how the introduction of the professional license has an impact on psychiatric counselors’ sense of being recognized for their professional competence and role, which in turn strengthens their professional role identity. The professional title is seen to have a position enhancing significance for their profession, which in turn can give rise to increased hierarchical status order and division within the work team and within social work. Consequently, an increased hierarchical competitive situation could lead to a narrowing of competence and experience in social work. Furthermore, the study highlights the patient safety being assured through the professional license. Suggestions for future research indicate the need to study the professional license’s significance and consequences after the period of transition 2024, since the license procedure is a new and ongoing process for psychiatric counselors.