Social worker problems

  1. It is not my intention to start a bashing thread here. In my previous jobs I have worked with social workers who were very much members of the team and I have consulted them in the past with good results.

    In my present job, my encounters with the social worker have been mildly frustrating, but I hadn't yet formed an opinion of her work. That was, of course, before last Friday. I have worked with highly manipulative residents, with severe behavioral problems in the past. I have seen how they can turn a unit on its ear in a matter of weeks. We have taken a new admission from another unit who is really starting to show these traits. She is becoming verbally abusive to both the staff and co-residents. Working with her is a challenge, because not only does she try to manipulate staff with unreasonable requests, but she also has dementia. She cannot be reasoned with because of this and it is quite evident that we need to get some psych nursing careplans off the ground fast.

    Anyway, our social worker was on the floor (seemingly available to talk to) and I asked her very politely if she could assist me in drawing up some careplans in order for us to get a consistent approach for this lady (I believed that this was a reasonable request because I have worked on these types of projects before with SWs). She was telling me "you know, we're not going to change this lady". I asserted that I was aware of that, and that changing the person was not my intention. I simply was looking to set limits on her behaviour, and I was looking for the benefit of her experience, on what to do. The conversation just became more and more convoluted. She kept demanding to know what my motives were, and why I was trying to change someone whom I couldn't change. I don't think she listened to an entire word I said. She just had it in her mind that I was like projecting my own problems onto this poor resident.

    Anyway this amounted to a 20 minute conversation which ended with my being very frustrated and having received absolutely no new information on what to do. I mean this is supposed to be her job!! This woman in the SENIOR social worker in my facility.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    Adrie, I'm sorry that your SW seems to misunderstand your intentions. Of course we aren't going to change the resident, but that doesn't mean we allow her to run amok on the unit. She can behave in her way within limits, and cannot infringe on the rights of the other residents (or at least insomuch as we can humanly help it! )

    Good luck. We are phenomenally fortunate to have very supportive SW's on my unit, without whom we couldn't operate. I wish you the same.

    If you would like to PM me, I would be happy to arrange for you to receive one of our generic "defiant behavior" and "dementia" care plans that you may be able to tweak for your needs.
  4. by   Dayray
    There are good and bad SW's just like there are good and bad nurses. I love one of the SW's I work with she does so much for my patients and we work together to solve problems. There are other SW's that are there for a paycheck and don't like for me to sit in on their visits with my patients (I do anyway Nananana).

    My worst SW story happened with DSS and man was it a mess.

    This patient of mine was giving her baby up for adoption. I went in to assess her and then asked her about the adoption. She was a rape victim and couldn't emotionally or financially care for the child. She was very apprehensive in talking to me and admitted she felt guilty for giving the baby up.

    I told her that it was a beautiful gift she would be giving to her baby and the family that wanted him so badly. She started to cry and told me that the DSS SW she had talked to had made her feel like she was abandoning her baby. They had also told her that she would not be allowed to meet the family or to be sent pictures of the baby.

    I comforted her and told her that she could get pictures and that she could in fact select the family that would raise her baby. I got my favorite hospital SW to set her up with a private adoption agency.

    When the people from the agency showed up I went in to tell her they were there. There were 2 women dressed in T-shirts and flip-flops in the room with her. I assumed they were family so I whispered in her ear that the agency people were here. She looked surprised and said, " the baby isn't mine anymore" the visitors asked what was going on, she explained.

    One of them stood up and yelled, " What are they doing here? This is our baby!!! Its too late she already gave it to us we have a family ready to take the baby"

    The very fires of hell roared in my heart and I said, "who are you?" "I'm DSS and this is our baby" I looked at the patient and told her " this is your baby and you can do what you believe is right for him" A very heated discussion ensued the DSS people eventually digressed and admitted she could legally do as she saw fit.

    Everything worked out but there was almost 1 less DSS SW in this world and I made a call to my friend who is the director of child services.
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Just another frustration of our job...department turf wars and those who put up walls to prevent a teamwork environment. <sigh>

    We all get overworked and frustrated, but IMO this is never a good excuse to take it out on one another

    Hang in there, Adrie and Dayray!!
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    Email coming atcha, Adrie.
  7. by   researchrabbit
    There are a few people in the work who seem to speak English but it must be some foreign language that sounds like English but has different meanings for all the words. That's always when I think of this Al Stewart song :

    Some of you are harmonies to all the notes I play
    And though we may not meet, still you know me well.
    While others talk in secret keys and transpose all I say
    And nothing I say or do can get through the spell...

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