Amy’s Life in Brief

Dealing with feelings professionally…

I had mentioned a case I was dealing with an elderly gentleman earlier.  The case has ended very tragically.  I can’t say specifically how or why because if I give too many details, it wouldn’t take much for people in this state to know what I’m talking about.  It was shocking to learn that my gut feeling was so very right…and I’m so very sad for the family involved.

This is where maintaining patient confidentiality makes it difficult to deal with feelings that come up in my professional life. It would be nice to have more time to talk about my feelings regarding this case and to be able to talk about it in specific terms, however to do so would violate the patient and his family’s confidentiality, so I must remain quiet.  I have discussed the case briefly with my co-workers, but with the case loads we all carry it doesn’t allow for a lot of time to go over situations like this.  At this point, because I’ve been with my employer for such a short time, I don’t have scheduled clinical, professional supervision set up yet.  Apparently it will be available to me at some point.  I guess I could always arrange for my own.

This development had put me a bit off-kilter this week and has me thinking how other people deal with things like this.  Do most people just have regular clinical supervision??  Something to think about.


1 Comment so far
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I know I operate under a different system but where I work we have clinical supervision which is carried out by my line manager and professional supervision which is carried out by a more senior social worker (because my manager is a nurse).
I’d also consider a fair amount of ‘informal’ supervision as and when. I find that the longer that I’ve spent in the job, the more important it has been for me to ring-fence this time – indeed, to demand it – because you can’t help but be affected by the things you do and see and I find that running through things with someone can help to depersonalise or rationalise your thoughts really is the best way of coping.
It sounds like it is something that would be needed to be honest.

Comment by cb

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