Diary of student social worker


A student social worker on placement writes

I spent the summer on student placement shadowing a community nurse who specialises in stroke recovery

Monday There is a conflict in our office: a service user has filed a compliant stating one of our social workers displayed a judgemental attitude while on a home visit. I will just keep my head down and continue with gaining experience.

Tuesday I am off to the acute hospital with my supervisor. My supervisor had an interesting chat with a service user. The conversation flowed freely from social events to the transportation process to the rehabilitation ward. After lunch, back at the office it was time to visit the rehabilitation ward to “do the rounds” then attend my first multidisciplinary team meeting. I couldn’t believe the amount of staff and teamwork that goes on. There were physiotherapists, nurses, community nurses, social workers from different boroughs and more besides.

Wednesday My supervisor is off sick. The other community nurse comes in and volunteers to take me under her wing for the day. This is good news as I’m set to do my home visits. “Grab the sat nav,” she calls. On our way cross-country, the sat nav keeps saying “please perform a u-turn.” We are lost. At 12.30, we decide to call it a day and let the office know we are unable to attend the appointment. Very embarrassing.

Thursday Social work is something of an emotional rollercoaster for me. It has been noticed that I have been too sympathetic with service users, which is no good to them at all. I had a conversation with my on-site supervisor and burst into tears – appalling! After some tough reflection I decide to toughen up and try to adopt a thicker skin.

Friday This morning is the supervision meeting about me. My development and learning needs have been met and everyone is satisfied with my progress, especially academically, as I have recently been diagnosed with dyslexia. I thank my practice teacher and other staff in the office who supported me and shown patience with me. We discussed yesterday’s emotional outburst and I was reassured it all comes with time. It was a huge relief when the meeting was over. I was then taken out for a surprise lunch (bonus). This placement has been a rich and positive experience.

Published on p78 of Community Care 25 September 2008


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