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.