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Author Topic: social worker rant  (Read 6548 times)
xtrememoosetrax
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« on: April 29, 2008, 05:06:08 PM »

Just got back from an out-of-town donor evaluation. 

 :rant; Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to make travel plans at the last minute. Then, because I have a spine like a wet noodle, I agreed to drive rather than insisting on rescheduling so I could make flight arrangements at non-prohibitive rates.  The social worker assured me that the 450-mile drive was a very nice one; she drives from Denver to Santa Fe (vacation place or 2nd home? -- not sure which) all the time!  And I was intimidated into buying this line -- what a dummy.  She also told me I could drive home the next day -- the same day as the eval.  After all, I should be done by 1 p.m. (optimistically), meaning that with a 7-hour drive ahead, I could get home by 8 p.m.!  It would still be light, after all, since it's daylight savings time.  She also recommended using cruise control (thanks! -- too bad mine quit working a while ago).  She told me there were lots of nice places to get out and stretch along the way; unfortunately, I learned that making the drive in 7 hours pretty much requires driving 80 mph the whole way with a max of 2 quick bathroom breaks.  Fortunately, my partner and other friends told me that driving back the same day would be CRAZY, so I didn't.  Actually, though, it all may have worked out for the best, as driving up gave me a chance to reconnoiter the territory there and find out about places to stay, etc.  And fortunately, it was an uneventful trip.

This social worker was something else.  At first when I met her, I thought she wasn't as bad as she sounded on the phone; after talking to her in person, I decided she was worse.  I told her that my recipient/friend and I had met in college, she asked which college, and then she was off and running.  I learned that her son is getting a PhD at the SAME school!!!!  I also learned that her first husband, although very intelligent, was not a good communicator, which is why she ultimately divorced him.  However, he gave her two beautiful and very intelligent children (see aforementioned son), for which she is very grateful; no regrets there!  She got her undergrad degree at a lesser-known but VERY good school in the Midwest.  She also belongs to a book club and plays tennis, and I think she said her parents live in Florida.  She always likes to "make a bond" with her patients, and now “OUR” bond is based on the fact that her son and I attended the same school!!! 

She informed me that she was there to make sure that I wasn't being coerced or pressured into donating in any way, but I don't think she ever actually asked me that in the form of a question.  I assured her that I was not being coerced, and she was fine with that.  Thank God I didn't have any big issues I needed to discuss.  In a moment when she must have stopped for air or something, I DID get in one question about insurance coverage, which she, of course, knew nothing about.

 :Kit n Stik; What a complete and total dipshit. :rant;  OK, thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better now. 
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Living donor to friend via 3-way paired exchange on July 30, 2008.

www.paireddonation.org
www.caringbridge.org/visit/marthahansen
thegrammalady
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 05:28:32 PM »

unfortunately i have found social workers are less than useful. i classify them somewhere around used car salesmen and pond scum. i'm guessing you came to denver. if you need any information or help just pm me. and next time you're in town give me a call.
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Sunny
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Sunny

« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 07:19:08 PM »

My social workers, I have been through three, are completely useless.
I guess I'm not sure of what value they are.
I think their major responsibility is to make sure you are "covered" for any medical procedures so the hospital isn't out any $.I suppose they also make sure you are psychologically fit.
Regardless of all that, I think it's wonderful you would like to be a donor. If that's the case, then don't let them push you around.Your friend is
probably so grateful. Hopefully you will be a good candidate, and if not, at least you gave it your best.
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Sunny, 49 year old female
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 07:44:56 PM »

My Social Worker has many duties:

Weekly Bingo game ( most can't hear the numbers due to the noise of the machines)

Passing out laptops, DVD's, and books on tape

Scheduling dialysis for patients who travel (many centers in this area don't take transients)

Ain't that enough?
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monrein
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Might as well smile

« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 08:00:08 PM »

I am a social worker who used to do therapy with teenagers and their families and as a result I know quite a few social workers.  Like any profession there are all sorts, some incredible and some too dreadful to even think about.  However, in most therapy situations if there isn't a good "fit" between you and your worker you can switch and shop around until you find someone who you feel really understands you and your situation.  My experience with hospital social workers is we're stuck with whoever we end up with and we feel they have authority over us at such a crucial time.  Is it up to her if you are "allowed" to donate? Don't think so. It is truly appalling that you would know so much about that worker after one meeting (frankly no need for you ever to know all that).  It's not like a social situation whereby each person reveals things about him/herself so you get to know each other and decide if you'll maintain a friendship.  Her boundaries are very loosey goosey, nice technical term there. That worker also did a very lousy job of assessing your reaction to your meeting if she thinks you now have a bond just because she got to natter at you for a while.  
Would you ever consider putting in a letter to her some feedback about the meeting and how it really didn't meet your needs and of course cc. a copy to her supervisor or whoever is her boss?  I hate the idea that any other poor potential donor would be subjected to her forced bonding ritual.  She needs a good :Kit n Stik;

Too bad you didn't have a teenager with you like some of the ones I used to work with.  They'd have told her to eff off or refused to say a single word for the entire session.
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Pyelonephritis (began at 8 mos old)
Home haemo 1980-1985 (self-cannulated with 15 gauge sharps)
Cadaveric transplant 1985
New upper-arm fistula April 2008
Uldall-Cook catheter inserted May 2008
Haemo-dialysis, self care unit June 2008
(2 1/2 hours X 5 weekly)
Self-cannulated, 15 gauge blunts, buttonholes.
Living donor transplant (sister-in law Kathy) Feb. 2009
First failed kidney transplant removed Apr.  2009
Second trx doing great so far...all lab values in normal ranges
xtrememoosetrax
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 07:13:32 AM »

Thanks, monrein, for the validation.  I was hoping I wasn't just being bitchy (after all, I'm sure she MEANT well), but when I realized that, on top of everything I already said, I knew this woman's effing MAIDEN NAME -- well, that was too much.  OMG!  WTF??  :rofl;  Gotta laugh, else I'd be crying . . . .

I'm not too worried about her nixing me.  I've already been through a pretty complete evaluation in my hometown; this was mainly so this particular trx center could take a look at me and give me their stamp of approval.  The SW I saw here was great.  I think she was new to living donation, but she asked me questions off of a nice complete questionnaire and actually seemed interested in my responses!! (what a concept, huh?) 

Even though I'm not too concerned about this woman disapproving me as a donor, I still felt like I had to "play nice" with her, as foolish as she was, because she COULD have that power.  It's kind of funny except for, as you point out, the fact that other people may be subjected to this same ridiculous and unnecessary ordeal.  So, once this is all over, I just may take your advice and write a letter about my experience.  Worth a try, I suppose.
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Living donor to friend via 3-way paired exchange on July 30, 2008.

www.paireddonation.org
www.caringbridge.org/visit/marthahansen
monrein
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Might as well smile

« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 08:03:21 AM »

I really hope you will find the energy to give her YOUR evaluation even though I'm pretty sure it's a chore you could just as easily live without.  I'm sure she "meant" well too but after all it's not like she's a lovely volunteer who's helping out.  She's supposed to be a paid professional and whatever SHE may have gotten from your encounter it sure sounds like a colossal waste of YOUR time.  Everyone deserves better than that but especially people willing to be living donors. :guitar:
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Pyelonephritis (began at 8 mos old)
Home haemo 1980-1985 (self-cannulated with 15 gauge sharps)
Cadaveric transplant 1985
New upper-arm fistula April 2008
Uldall-Cook catheter inserted May 2008
Haemo-dialysis, self care unit June 2008
(2 1/2 hours X 5 weekly)
Self-cannulated, 15 gauge blunts, buttonholes.
Living donor transplant (sister-in law Kathy) Feb. 2009
First failed kidney transplant removed Apr.  2009
Second trx doing great so far...all lab values in normal ranges
BigSky
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 08:25:47 AM »

My experience at tx centers is its not the social worker who deals with the insurance issue, that would be the financial coordinator.  Maybe you should have asked to meet with that person?

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xtrememoosetrax
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 08:34:24 AM »

My experience at tx centers is its not the social worker who deals with the insurance issue, that would be the financial coordinator.  Maybe you should have asked to meet with that person?
Agreed.  I just thought it was ironic that, as verbose and full of "information" as she was, she did not have the information that I actually needed and wanted.  And if I HAD had any social/coercion issues, I would have had to be VERY assertive to bring them up, which I imagine would be difficult for people in that situation.

However, you make a very good point about the financial coordinator being the person I need to talk to.  I was frustrated that neither the SW nor the trx coordinator could tell me much of anything about the insurance issues, which are a bit complicated in this case.  Funny that they didn't think to refer me to the fin. coord.  I will follow up on this; thanks for the tip.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 09:06:57 AM by xtrememoosetrax » Logged

Living donor to friend via 3-way paired exchange on July 30, 2008.

www.paireddonation.org
www.caringbridge.org/visit/marthahansen
Ken Shelmerdine
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Life's a bitch and then you go on dialysis!

« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 09:06:29 AM »

I wonder if social work is some kind of magnet for attracting screwed up people. I know a marriage councillor who's 3 times divorced!
 :Kit n Stik;
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Ken
David13
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 03:21:56 PM »

All dialysis centers are required to have a social worker available to their patients.  However, that doesn't mean that the social worker is always competent.  Social workers are apparently somewhat difficult to find in some areas, and when a dialysis center finally gets one in the door, they are sometimes just happy to be meeting the "requirement" of having one.  Unfortunately, the managers often don't really care if the social worker does a good job or not after that point.  Many dialysis social workers appear to think they have done their job if they ask, "How was your weekend?" as they zip past your chair.  They consider that to be their attempt at "patient contact".   :bow;  Like any profession, there are many who are only there to do the bare minimum and collect a paycheck.  Once in a while you will come across one that is truly concerned about the patients.  Count yourself as very lucky if you find one of them.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 03:57:13 PM by David13 » Logged

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okarol
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2008, 05:20:57 PM »

I am sorry about your experience xtrememoosetrax, but your description of bonding with the sw did make me laugh! I don't know that much info about my next door neighbor!
That is a hell of a drive to turn around in a short time! Crazy! Hopefully the rest of the transplant team is more grounded!
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Admin for IHateDialysis 2008 - 2014, retired.
Jenna is our daughter, bad bladder damaged her kidneys.
Was on in-center hemodialysis 2003-2007.
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She did PD Sept. 2013 - July 2017
Found a swap living donor using social media, friends, family.
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Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
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Me and my baby Kyle

« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2008, 04:22:44 PM »

I have met alot of people on this journey and have not heard one good thing about anyone's social worker. I can't believe how blessed I am to have mine. She is amazing! Any questions I have if she doesn't know the answer she finds out for me. If she comes across a new website like this one she tells me about it. She knows I love the info. She always makes time for each and every patient no matter the time of day or length of time the talk/questions/answers take. She obviously is one in a million and while I can't speak for the other patients in the unit I don't know how I would survive this time in my life without her guidance and friendship. Thank you Janice you are a God send and an angel here on earth to all of your patients, and we love you! Please don't ever leave us! :clap; :bow; :cuddle; :thx;
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Laurie
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