Respond to the blog posts of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
Make a suggestion to your colleague’s post.
MUST RESPOND TO EACH ONE SEPARATELY CITE EVERYTHING AND FULL REFERENCES
PEER 1 Alicia Simpkins
When in the field, assessment is a great way to gather information to further understand what issues are being faced by the client. The assessment can usually refer to general information such as an intake, or through more comprehensive measures where further information is gathered to determine client needs and to begin the process of formulating a treatment plan. Challenge may come when it comes to confidentiality and getting clients to understand when confidentiality is sacred or when it can be broken. The text mentions that “client confidentiality is considered sacred and fiercely protected by social work professionals…practicum students are often unsure how the concept is defined and practiced in their field settings, particularly when the use of technology is routine part of agency life” (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger, 2018). Clients may have an understanding that whatever they share is confidential, but it does become a challenge in assessment when there may be some information that has to be disclosed, and they don’t want it to be disclosed. Also, having clients that are unwilling to engage during the assessment process can be challenging as well.
I think that ways to address challenges could include building a rapport with the client. The client should be able to trust you and trust you and your judgment. If a client is able to trust you and trust the information that is being relayed to them, then they may get a sense of safety and in turn be willing to engage.
Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork.New York, NY: Pearson.
Peer 2 Audri Kaufman
Completing an assessment is the second part of the generalist intervention model following the engagement process (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). In order to conduct a proper assessment with a client however, it is best to have established good rapport. Thus, the engagement process is essential for building a strong and trusting worker-client relationship. Unfortunately some practice models do not allow for sufficient time needed in order to establish any rapport. This is an example of a potential challenge for completing assessments. According to Birkenmaier and Berg-Weger (2018), assessments completed in practice often include collecting confidential and sensitive information. Without an established trusting worker-client relationship in place, it might be difficult to obtain accurate information from the client as the client may be more reluctant to share such personal information with a worker they do not yet know very well.
In hospice home health, some accommodations and adjustments to home healthcare had to be made in order to limit the amount of staff visits into the patients home. For this reason, hospice social workers and spiritual counselor have had to complete more sessions by phone that would have otherwise been conducted in the home. As an intern at Valley’s Best Hospice, I was tasked to call all of the primary contacts listed for each patient and complete a Bereavement Risk Assessment with each of them over the phone. This was a bit uncomfortable for me as most of the patients and/or family members that I was calling I had never met before. The questions on the Bereavement Risk Assessment ask if the family member/caregiver is feeling any “spiritual distress”, or feelings of anger/guilt/or fear in regards to the dying process, if they are prepared or unprepared for the dying process, if they have any trouble with substance abuse or alcohol abuse, if they have experienced multiple losses in recent years, if they have a difficult time processing loss, if they have experienced any traumatic deaths, history of mental illness, history of family violence, and any current suicidal thoughts or intent to harm themselves or others. Most of the time the family member/caregiver was willing to share but I could tell for some they were a bit more reluctant, one even asked what was the purpose of the assessment. I always tried to explain ahead of time that the assessment would take less than five minutes and that the purpose was to check-in and make sure they are holding up ok.
I have only completed about half of these assessments that I need to complete and since the State of California has just lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, I would like to see about being able to complete the remainder of the Bereavement Risk Assessments in person. It is definitely more easier to collect such personal and confidential information once having met the individual in person. I also find it a bit rude or cold to be asking such intrusive questions over the phone rather in person. For this reason, I plan to ask my supervisor at my next day in the office to allow me to complete the assessment at the home of the patient and in person with the family member/caregiver.
Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
PEER 3 Cheeia Xiong
An explanation of potential challenges for assessment during your field education experience
Some potential challenges I have encountered during assessment are clients who suffer from substance abuse such as crystal meth. Clients also missed treatments due to drugs usages and they forget about their appointment. There has been many occasions when the client comes into treatment and they are talking nonstop the entire hour about absolutely nothing because they are high on crystal meth. In these kind of scenarios, it is really hard to assess their needs or even assess their situation or even establish a rapport with them. Also, this bring me to another thing and that is boundaries during assessment as well. You cannot cross boundaries during assessment because that can also ruined your professional relationship as well. I always hear my social workers say “don’t work harder than them” and that is something I keep mindful of during assessment.
An explanation of personal action plans you might take to address assessment in your field education experience
My supervisor mentioned that they are a nonprofit organization so they have two years to be in the program and they can be exit from the program if they are not meeting goals. Therefore, we cannot control what they can and cannot do when they come to treatment. One personal action plan is to be culturally competent and use skills like empathy and communication to better understand their situation (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger, 2018). However, how I have addressed this problem is talking through different steps I can take with my supervisor. I will call the clients one day before their treatment and motivate them to come in by telling them beforehand about the session. Also, I use other skills during assessment like active listening skills.
Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson. Chapter 6, “Social Work Practice in the Field: Working with Individuals and Families” (pp. 117-154)
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