The Social Work Value Of Service Essay

The Social Work Value Of Service Essay

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A situation from my practicum where I may experience an ethical dilemma is if I needed to visit a patient I knew. If a patient was identified as potentially having social work needs and I knew them personally it may be uncomfortable for them to discuss sensitive issues, especially if I wasn’t aware of the issues prior to reading their medical history. The patient may not be as honest with me because they wouldn’t want an acquaintance to know about sensitive subjects they are experiencing. The agency requires a social worker to visit patients that lack support, are low-income, have a history of substance use, or a mental illness. Visiting these patients is consistent with the social worker’s responsibility to clients.
The social work values involved in this ethical dilemma include service, dignity and worth of a person, importance of human relationships, and competence. The social work value of service requires social workers to assist people in need. If a patient requires a social work visit, it is my responsibility to help them no matter our relationship. The value of dignity and worth of a person is applicable because I need to treat every client with dignity. It is imperative to determine if meeting with a patient I know would constitute treating them with dignity or indecency. The issues requiring a social work consultation are sensitive subjects and are usually not openly discussed unless on familiar terms. Discussing these issues with someone I know, but don’t have a close relationship with, could cause discomfort and lead to feeling undignified in our interaction.
The importance of the human relationships value is applicable in this situation because of the relationship I have with the patient. I would need to determine ...


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...f she would prefer to be visited by another social worker. The patient told me it was alright for me to visit her. Since our relationship had been as acquaintances, and the issues I needed to discuss weren’t extremely sensitive, I was able to fulfill my agency’s responsibilities and intern duties.
If I have questions in the future, I could inform my supervisor of the relationship I have with the patient, the information I need to gather from the patient, and inquire how she thinks I should proceed. A benefit to being placed at my practicum site is always having access to my supervisor. My supervisor has informed me of various ethical dilemmas where she has sought advice from her co-workers and manager as necessary. It is comforting to know that if I ever question the correct course of action there are many people available to assist me in determine the best solution.

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