Adults belong to the category of the so-called group of the limited mobility and are the most socially vulnerable part of society. It happens primarily due to the disabilities of their physical or psychological condition caused by diseases resulting in disability, as well as to the existing complex of concomitant somatic pathology and reduced physical activity. In addition, a considerable degree of social vulnerability of this population is connected with the psychological factor shaping their attitudes to society and impeding an adequate contact with them. This paper reveals my personal experience in the framework of role play exercise as a social worker interviewing the patient (client), its analysis, and the article critique concerning my patient’s peculiarities.
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I interviewed Sanyambe Kassembe. In the interview, I introduced myself as Jackie Smith (I did not shake hands, because the professor said it could cause discomfort in some cases depending on client’s religion or medical condition, etc.). I went over the confidential policy explaining that everything we spoke about today or any other time would remain confidential unless she indicated she was going to hurt herself or another person.
I asked her to sign a form. She hesitated and said for what, I was a stranger, and she complained her hand hunted and she could not move it. She also mentioned that she could not see clearly. I told her that I could see in my records that she was in lots of pain, so the doctor has suggested that she stayed with us a bit longer, and once she felt better, we would transfer her to a nursing facility. She quickly interrupted me with redness and said no, she wanted to go home. I told her I understood what she was saying, but I wanted to follow up with her in a couple of days, meanwhile, I wanted her to settle in, and if she had any questions that she could not think of at the moment, there are social workers 24/7 in the hospital that can assist her. I am also available 8-5 PM from Monday till Friday.
She agreed to see me again in two days at 2 PM. I asked her if she understood what social worker job is at the facility. She answered no. I then explained that in her case my objective is to get her help relieving her pain, give her medication, and get her assistance with getting around filling doctor’s papers and looking for results for the aftermath. She seemed content. I gave her a quick summary of all the things we talked about and what we would talk about during our next session.
In my opinion, the interview with Sanyambe Kassembe took place in a positive way. I clearly explained the client her rights in detail and tried to persuade her to stay in the hospital during the necessary treatment. However, it seemed that she was very annoyed and even did not want to talk to me. I felt her negative mood to the hospital, as she had to stay there for some weeks. For example, she called me “stranger”, interrupted my speech, and complained of pain. I understood that she felt like petitioner, she was very sensitive. It was important to help her to communicate: encourage, support, provide her with initiative, and the ability to express herself. Consequently, explaining the situation correctly, I gave her time to consider the advantages of staying in the hospital including 24/7 care and appropriate treatment. At the end of our conversation, she looked satisfied; therefore, I was complacent, too.
In order to understand client’s needs, it seems appropriate to learn more about her trauma. Therefore, I read and analyzed the article investigating the required topic. The article “Depressive symptoms post hip fracture in older adults are associated with phenotypic and functional alterations in T cells” by Duggal et al. provides the reader with the information on adults hip fracture influence on immunesenescence, in other words, reduced immunity.
Authors describe the background of the research substantiating their choice of the theme. The rapid aging of the world population is associated with an increase in pathology among older age groups, in particular, hip fractures. The targeted number of adults was101 participants (37 male) from five hospitals in Birmingham, UK between 2010 and 2012 (Duggal et al., 2014). All the participants were aged 60 years and over and sustained a hip fracture 4–6 weeks beforehand but they have no chronic disorders connected with immune system such as diabetes or cancer (Duggal et al., 2014).
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The study included three groups consisted of healthy patients, hip fracture patients with or without depressive symptoms. Findings of the study are based on blood samples. The purpose of the study was to determine the connection between hip fracture and changes in the immune system of older people. As a result, authors ascertained that hip fracture depression could cause a phenotypic modification in T cells and cytokine production. In its turn, it might be a reason of immune system deregulation.
The study is based on quantitative research method, as it comprises the use of a numerical estimate of the issue and the reaction of respondents towards it. Authors present a systematic description of what actually is happening to the immune system of adults under the influence of physical and psychological disorders by means of credible tables and statistics. Speaking of the procedural design advantages, the thing worth turning one’s attention to is the presence of illustrative material such as tables, diagrams, and drawings. It is a convincing argument that the article comprises some proved data or statistics organized in graphs.
The analysis of the data that was made by authors can be proved. It could not be easily argued and denied, as there is evidence of it being taken from credible sources. Therefore, the information presented in the article appears to be accurate and trustworthy.
Thus, it should be noted that authors pointed out the main trends and changes that are connected to adults’ physical and psychological state. Consequently, one may conclude that the goal desired by the authors was achieved because they provided a reader with the useful and comprehensible information. In my opinion, the article might be helpful for both clients and social workers in order to understand the disease better and handle it.
Precisely speaking, reading this article, I believe I can communicate with my client Sanyambe Kassembe in more effective way explaining her consequences of her trauma and necessity of staying in the hospital for the required period of time. It became obvious that I should have more detailed conversation with my patient as it is of a great importance for her health to recover by means of receiving prescribed treatment in the hospital.
Taking a broader look, I consider that the article is significant for the future investigations as well. For instance, authors did not pay their attention to the group of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes or they did not regard men and women separately according to their peculiarities. In spite of the fact that those questions remain unanswered, it is a good basis for the future studies.
The following part is a critique and discussion of my actions when I was the social worker. Older people of every country are the subject of concern for the state. The primary concern of the state in relation to the elderly people is its material support (pensions, allowances, benefits, etc.). However, some adults need not only the material support. An important role is played by providing them with effective physical, psychological, organizational, and other kinds of assistance. Proper understanding of the impact of the disease is of fundamental importance for understanding the essence of medical and physical rehabilitation.
Therefore, I believe that this experience was very significant for my future career. First of all, I provided a clear statement of the purpose of the interview for my client. I stated that it is very important to her to stay in the hospital rather than come back home where nobody could control her health as carefully as required and Medicare along with medical assistance would not pay for it. Speaking of the differences between my client and me, perhaps, religious peculiarities should be mentioned.
In this regard, I did not shake hands in order to prevent misunderstanding. Trying to put the client at ease, I spoke with her confidently and earnestly. Moreover, I gave her some time to speculate the situation and ask me any questions. It seemed that she was satisfied by my visit and our conversation. My client’s verbal and non-verbal behaviours showed that she was strained and excited at the beginning of our interview, but after my explanations and suggestion to meet one more, she became content.
During our conversation, I applied three ethical principles. To begin with, privacy principle was applied as it is the basic principle of social work and the professional ethics of social worker (Sheafor & Horejsi, 2014). When the need for cooperation in order to resolve the problem appears, any communication or decisions are possible only with the consent of the client. All participants should be aware of the need for confidentiality. Moreover, the principle of benevolence was used.
Benevolence is the basis of moral culture of a social worker, a reflection and manifestation of love for the people (Sheafor & Horejsi, 2014). This principle allowed me tactfully and correctly point mistakes and shortcomings of the client and direct her to the right solution. Finally, respect for the client’s right to make independent decisions at any stage of the joint action is a manifestation of respect for human rights (Hessenauer & Zastrow, 2013). On this basis, it was necessary to find out client’s needs and vision of her problems. All my actions were well justified and argued. However, the client was aware that she has the right to abandon her decision at any time if her views have changed.
The last part of the paper is devoted to the role of the client using my tune in skill. If I were the client, I would be extremely frightened by my situation. I am 75-year-old adult, and my hip fracture is broken. Except the fact that now I am immobilized and feel pain, Medicare does not want me to be at my home. I would feel stress and incomprehension. However, it is likely that the social worker’s visit gave me hope.
He explained to me that it is necessary to remain in the hospital for my recovery. The social worker was friendly and explained at the outset, that the conversation is completely confidential. I suppose he really wanted to help me with my problem. I needed this conversation because it was important to me to understand that the decision of the doctor is concise and measured. When the social worker suggested pondering over the situation and meeting again, I agreed.
It shows that he did not want to put pressure on me but wanted to help to make the right decision. The tuning in skill allowed me to feel like the client, in particular, to feel her emotions and fear. In addition, it contributed to the effective and kind communication with the client when we spoke not like the social worker and the client, but like friends.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that I have learned the key psychological and ethical issues of the social worker as well as some difficulties that might face me. The exercise described and analyzed above is of a great importance as it would undoubtedly be helpful for my future career and, perhaps, for the prospect investigations.
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Duggal, N. A., Upton, J., Phillips, A. C., Hampson, P., & Lord, J. M. (2014). Depressive symptoms post hip fracture in older adults are associated with phenotypic and functional alterations in T cells. Immunity & Ageing, 11(1), 1-16.
Hessenauer, S., & Zastrow, C. (2013). Becoming a Social Worker: BSW Social Workers’ Educational Experiences. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 18(2), 19-35.
Sheafor, B. W., & Horejsi, C. R. (2014). Techniques and guidelines for social work practice (10th ed.). New York: Pearson Education.