Discuss the reasons why the client was referred to you today.
Patients take various pathways through the healthcare system. It is important to keep in mind that patients being treated for medical problems can also have comorbid conditions such as psychiatric diagnoses and/or other social issues that can multiply the complexity of their health outcomes and symptomology. “The Medical Social Service movement recognized that there should be within the hospital [or medical setting] … someone definitely assigned to represent the patient’s point of view … and to work out with the physician, an adaptation of the medical treatment in the light of the patient’s [psychological and] social condition.” Some examples of ways social workers may come in contact with patients might be through the Emergency Room Department, Postoperative Intensive Care Units, Outpatient Specialty settings, Trauma units such as burn or psychiatric units, Substance Abuse settings, Observation Units, Acute Care Units, Transplant Unit, Rehabilitation Unit, Home Health, Dialysis, or Child health or women health services (obstetrics and gynecology). Social work in these environments entails assessing psychosocial needs in relation to the presenting problem and case management. Some examples of psychosocial needs might be patients not having the ability to afford their medications or medical equipment, patients not having medical coverage or adequate coverage, the patient having family problems such as domestic violence or child abuse, the patient having comorbid conditions such as mental health or substance abuse issues. Case management includes providing referrals to clients or resources such as providing resources for food assistance or information on low-cost healthcare or durable medical equipment at a community clinic/pharmacy that may be a resource that can stabilize the patient and prevent re-hospitalization. As a case manager, you may also facilitate placement for rehabilitation for various conditions.
In some cases, our clients might be the family members of patients who have died from their injuries or have been very critically injured and will require family decisions to be made related to intensive surgeries and/or life-sustaining decisions. When patients expire in the hospital setting, comforting the families and providing information on making final arrangements is necessary.
In this Week’s Discussion, you will select a specialty setting or hospital unit you may be interested in working in as a medical social worker; describe a client (demographics – age, gender, race/ethnicity, minor, adult, marital status, etc.); and the client’s new diagnosis or problem they have come in to receive services from your specialty setting or hospital unit. The goal of this interview is to demonstrate your skills related to explaining their condition to them (symptoms, typical treatments offered by medical or behavioral/mental health providers, side effects, and other specialists in your area where a second opinion might be obtained) in a manner that is understandable and appropriate given the client’s demographics, developmental and educational level. This will require you to do some additional out of class research on the diagnosis and treatment providers for the condition in your area.
You will respond as if the client is speaking to you based on a prepared interview transcriipt that you will also include in your discussion text. So, first, you will need to develop the interview transcriipt in which you should detail the client responses to your questions and prompts (see attached transcriipt for example). You should then role-play as if you were speaking directly to a client. The goal is to demonstrate your interviewing skills and ability to explain the client’s condition and treatment options to a client in a clear and appropriate manner (not a lot of medical jargon). Keep in mind that skill demonstration is also what you do with your body not just what you say with your words. In other words, you are expected to demonstrate rather than discuss your skills. Start the interview with introductions
Discuss the reasons why the client was referred to you today.
Ask the client a question that would elicit additional information about their condition [Respond appropriately to the client by anticipating their response (based on the transcriipt you attached) and move to the next part of the skill demonstration]
Explain the condition to the client and typical symptoms associated with their condition (discuss how the condition and related symptoms could generally impact the functioning of those who are experiencing the condition – hint: Provide this discussion without being bleek offering hope while being honest). End the discussion with a check-out – for example, do you have any questions? (or) does any of this sound like things you have been experiencing? – make sure to come up with your own check-out in your own words, not the ones listed here).
Discuss what the research says are the most effective treatment/intervention(s) options to treat the condition and the side/adverse effects associated with each treatment/intervention option based on the research (keep in mind that treatment might include things such as hospital stays and durable medical equipment or other medical devices) – [you do not need to cite the sources but providing the client with handouts or reference sites for additional information is highly recommended and will be considered an above-average skill demonstration].
Explain the role you would take in their treatment process and/or engagement with your specialty setting or hospital unit – Discuss how you might facilitate the services the client will need during their treatment process. Ask them if there is anything they would like you to do specifically [pose an interview question to garner this information in a professional way]
End your discussion by offering the patient information on other specialists in your area from whom s/he might get a second opinion and/or additional assistance.
Include a transcriipt for the interview (including the client responses that you will be assuming in your live interview) within the discussion textbox