I was sitting here pondering what my post for today should be about. I was at a loss. I’ve had a couple of “WTF!” moments at work. However, I haven’t figured out how to adequately describe the situations and still maintain an adequate level of confidentiality. But then….the idea hit me!
I will just use this post to wish Reas a very happy birthday! I hope it’s a great one!
Filed under: financial concerns, health insurance, hospital, hospital social work, MSW | Tags: bankruptcy, insurance, pre-existing conditions
Not exactly a unique topic to rant on, but this has been a recurring theme for me lately. You may ask, “How could it not be since you work in a hospital?” I can usually push down the thoughts of evil insurance companies as I deal with other big issues such as end of life care, drug and alcohol addictions, mental health issues, child abuse, elder abuse, etc.
Lately, though, it’s come up more and more. I’ve even had my own experiences dealing with evil insurance companies. When my son was so sick, we had to fight with them to pay for a helicopter ride.
I am dealing with a person who will not have a pre-existing condition covered until late Summer. Meanwhile, they are paying a huge amount for coverage that will do them no good until then (unless they break their legs or something…and even then the insurance company will find a way to link it to the pre-existing condition) and will be stuck with a pretty large hospital bill.
Even having Medicaid isn’t a guarantee that you won’t have to file bankruptcy. One person I’ve worked with recently had the bad luck to turn 19 years old.
Basically…insurance companies…you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them!
Filed under: boundaries, HIPAA, hospital, hospital social work, job, MSW, social work, social work ethics, social work practice | Tags: acquaintance, disclosure
Generally, my general practice is, when I realize I know a patient or their close family members, to not get involved in their case. I think this is generally accepted as the correct thing to do, ethically. It’s probably als wise, in order to avoid comitting a HIPAA violation.
An issue arose for me, sort of anyway, this past weekend. One of my colleagues requested I follow up on a patient. It wasn’t anything urgent, just providing some ongoing emotional support for the patient and their family. I was aware they were from a certain geographical area that I am very familar with. But, when I saw the family from a distance and recognized them. They may or may not have recognized me, had I approached them. It’s been a number of years and my name is different these days.
Nevertheless, I did not approach them. I was somewhat uncomfortable, since I had some prior knowledge of them from a different setting. Nothing negative, just some prior knowledge. Plus, I was incredibly busy so I wasn’t really able to attend to people who already had had an initial assessment. But, I wonder if, had the family been in crisis, it would have been appropriate to intercede.
Certainly, if it would have been a family I knew well, I wouldn’t. At least I wouldn’t as a professional or employee of the hospital. But, only knowing them slightly, is it ever OK to get involved? And if they don’t recognize them, do I inform them that I know them and how, in the interest of full disclosure?
Filed under: balance, burn out, hospital, hospital social work, job, social work, social work ethics, social work practice | Tags: overworked, stress
I find some of the most stressful stretches at work are long weekends. We always staff down for the holidays, which usually means someone works on their own. This weekend was no exception.
I have been essentially on my own since Friday. I think I mentioned how Saturday fell apart on me. I was unable to recover from that. I never caught up and got further buried today.
But, two of my colleagues will return tomorrow. I am hopeful we’ll be able to catch up. I’ll still have a busy day tomorrow. There are a number of cases I won’t be able to pass off. Once you make that emotional connection with a patient and/or family you have to follow things through. But, it will be nice not to feel as if the weight of the entire hospital on my shoulders.
Filed under: hospital, hospital social work, job, social work, social work ethics, social work practice | Tags: busy, Saturday, weekend
It is so interesting to work on the weekends. I’m not sure if people have higher expectations, or if I’m more overwhelmed because I’m on my own, or what it is. I had the typical request to cure someone’s problem with chronic homelessness, as per the usual. I had the usual request to come talk to a crying patient. But, I had some interesting experiences today.
I was asked to come talk to a person about their drug seeking behavior a full 5 minutes before they were being discharged. I’m not exaggerating…literally 5 minutes before they were ready to walk out the door. Now, I can do some good work in a short period of time. That being said, I really don’t think I can do any kind of a drug and alcohol assessment, good or bad, in less than 20 or 30 minutes. So, frankly, I didn’t even go there. I got them referrals for primary care and suggested they see the social worker that is available there.
My morning also got hijacked. We had several hospice discharges and it turned out we used the same transport company for all of them. I am telling my colleagues we should never do that again. About 20 minutes before the first pick up was to take place we got a call they would be delayed. Then, 30 minutes later we got a call that they didn’t think they couldn’t take them at all. Any of them. So, I scrambled to find alternative transportation companies that could respond quickly on a holiday weekend. It was good times.
I’m not even sure how many referrals I didn’t get to. I am trying not to think about that.
Filed under: balance, burn out, hospital, hospital social work, job, MSW, social work, social work practice | Tags: burr in my saddle, stress
There has been a lot of stress at work as of late. There are things going on that cross departments and seems to be adding stress to the general atmosphere. Of course, I can’t get too specific, lest I get myself into trouble. I have to work this weekend and I’m not sure how these goings on are going affect the work load for me.
I honestly love my job, but this weight of stress is making doing my job well very difficult. I haven’t been posting very much because there’s really no way to describe what is going on without it being easily recognized, both the situation and the people. So, I will continue to ponder a way to describe and process what is going on, because I really need to process this and I don’t want to overwhelm my coworkers and friends with endless discussions of the topics that are really getting under my skin.
Filed under: defense mechanism, hospital social work, job, MSW, Professional Supervision, social work, social work ethics, social work practice | Tags: distraction, stress
This has been difficult these past couple of weeks. I know exactly why it has been happening. Without going into a great deal of detail, there’s been a lot going on at work and it has had me distracted. There have been things that have happened recently and I feel like these issues are going to resolve themselves.
But, I’ve been frustrated and a little disappointed in myself. I know that I haven’t given my best to the patients. And this is really unfortunate, since I only have a brief period of time to get in, make a connection, and be able to figure out an appropriate intervention.
So, my question for other social workers out there, what do you do when you find yourself in a “therapeutic slump,” for a lack of a better term? What do you do when you find yourself easily distracted while working with your clients? Take time off? Get some professional supervision? Have a margarita after work?