Diary A lighter take on the week.

I arrive at the office after a relaxing break feeling refreshed and keen. I have a whole day in the office so I’m determined to catch up on paperwork. My priority is to complete an assessment that is reaching the 28-day deadline. The boss had sent several reminder e-mails before the holidays. Determined to do a good job because it’s a complex case so the assessment and care plan take more than half the day.

Take our student on placement to visit a service user on the intermediate care unit who has dementia and is unsafe to return home. At the end of the discharge meeting the service user taps me on the arm, tells me that I am too young to be a social worker and that if she must have one she would like someone more experienced.

I walk across town to attend an away day with the rest of my team and on a short cut along the canal I narrowly avoid being pecked by a swan. Half of the team was recently posted to GP surgeries and it’s good to be back together again. People are in a good mood and the banter flows. I learn new things about my colleagues: one knows her way round the chocolate counter like the back of her hand and helps our team take a significant victory in the “confectionary quiz”; another is excellent on the lateral thinking test. Things become dirty at the end of the day over a card bingo game where there is a bottle of wine at stake. There’s nothing like alcohol to focus the minds of social workers.

Off to a residential home this morning to visit another service user with dementia. I have been asked to move her to an elderly mentally infirm (EMI) placement as her abusive language and constant spitting is causing problems. I’m having a conversation in the office with the manager about the client’s needs and the subject is on her fragile skin, I ask if there are any problems at the moment. The manager sticks her head out of the office and shouts down the corridor to a carer “Is Mrs Smith’s bottom healed?” I have a discussion with the lady and find her amicable. Later, I return to the room where she is eating lunch and make a pleasant comment to her. She turns to me, looks me in the eye and tells me to shut up. 

I am hoping for a quiet day today because I’m on duty back-up and still have paperwork to do. I’m in luck, I leave the office just after five, concluding that it wasn’t one of my best weeks ever but it was good to get back to work after the holidays and meet up with the team. Also, given the insults I have received this week, I think I may have developed slightly thicker skin.


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