What are social workers for?

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Oct 26, 2021

I have a nice social worker but she has her ways. But then we all do. I am having problems with a doctor because of her insistence that I have a battery put in a VNS device for my seizures. My social worker will not get involved in the matter. She tells me to discuss it with my psychiatric nurse practitioner. She isn't knowledgeable about the matter either. I need advice. Where do I go?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

@lsittll – I wonder if your social worker has some sort of legal reason why she can't get involved. It does seem logical that she should provide some advice on how to proceed. There is a website that you might want to take a look at – The Patient Revolution – https://patientrevolution.org/. Here are a couple of links under the How We Revolt section that you might find helpful for talking with your doctor or care team.

Tools for the Visit: https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools
Communication Barriers: https://patientrevolution.org/barriers
Let's Talk About $: https://patientrevolution.org/cost

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Seek a new Social Worker or Patient Advocate who will work for you.

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@lsittll, I agree with both @bluej295 and @johnbishop. This may not be an issue that a social worker can intervene with. When there is miscommunication or diverging opinions between a patient and doctor, most hospitals have patient advocates, patient relations officer or patient experience officer that can help mediate. Hospitals will have different names for this function. At Mayo Clinic, patients can contact the Office of Patient Experience for this service.

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Hello @blue295 I am beginning to feel that way but I just started seeing her about two months ago. She has focused on one thing only in our therapy so far. She will not admit it. She tells me to list three goals I want to achieve in our therapy. Well resolving the matter with my doctor is #1! Also referring me to my psychiatric nurse practitioner who only does medication management for me and who she personally knows for this I feel is the easy way out for her. All other social workers. My one social worker who worker with a psychiatrists never would have referred me to them. She would have known she had to deal with herself. Other social workers would help with things like this. I've had similar problems before.

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@colleenyoung

@lsittll, I agree with both @bluej295 and @johnbishop. This may not be an issue that a social worker can intervene with. When there is miscommunication or diverging opinions between a patient and doctor, most hospitals have patient advocates, patient relations officer or patient experience officer that can help mediate. Hospitals will have different names for this function. At Mayo Clinic, patients can contact the Office of Patient Experience for this service.

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Hello @colleenyoung . Thank you for the information. Since University of Maryland Medical Center is such a big hospital it should have these services. I suppose I should see an advocate after the next visit. The nurse practitioner told me today that I should have the doctor call her now and she would tell the effect the issue is having on me. She will also be on a 3-way call, with the doctor and I when I am in the doctor's office in January.

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@lsittll

Hello @colleenyoung . Thank you for the information. Since University of Maryland Medical Center is such a big hospital it should have these services. I suppose I should see an advocate after the next visit. The nurse practitioner told me today that I should have the doctor call her now and she would tell the effect the issue is having on me. She will also be on a 3-way call, with the doctor and I when I am in the doctor's office in January.

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They do have an Office of Patient Experience it would appear.
University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC)
https://www.umms.org/ummc/contact
To share a patient experience, please contact our patient advocates: 410-328-8777.

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