least two different colleagues ’ postings H u m a n i t i e s
Respond to at least two different colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
Expand on your colleague’s post by explaining how these questions help assess the patient’s social support system.
Explain any insights you gained from having read your colleague’s post regarding his or her strategy to improve social support.
Post a description of the social support system of the patient you selected. Explain how the social support might improve the illness outcomes. Then, explain the importance of assessing the quality of the patient’s social support system. List a set of three questions that you think are important for assessing the patient’s social support system. Justify your selection. Then, explain how the roles of a medical social worker might improve the quality of the support for the patient. Explain one strategy that might be effective in improving the social support system of a patient.
The patient I selected is a child with cancer. The main support system I have identified is the child’s family. Gehlaert (2012) explains because the family is the primary social support system for the child, how they manage and approach the child’s illness can influence aspects of the illness trajectory.
I feel when dealing with children in any capacity it is important to assess the quality of their support system because they play such a large role. In this case with the support system being the family I need to know are they really monitoring the best interest of the client. Assessing them will also let me know if they making decisions with the child’s wants in mind.
Three questions I think is important for assessing the patient’s social support system are:
Are you aware of what the illness is and how it effects clients?
What process do you take when making important decisions regarding the client?
How do you address the client’s concerns?
One reason I would ask if the support source was knowledgably about the illness is because I would take time to educate them. They play an important role so it is very important for them to know what is going on too. Them being educated ultimately benefits the client. They can help them and cover areas that the patient may not want to make decisions about or even think about. Also teaching them how to be positive regarding the client’s concerns is also key. Even with the best intentions everyone does not know the best way to support others. So teaching them new skills and going over burnout coping strategies will help improve the quality of the support for the patient.
Gehlert, S., & Browne, T., (2012) Handbook of Health Social Work (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203956120
Post a description of the social support system of the patient you selected. Explain how the social support might improve the illness outcomes
Cancer patients with social support have been associated with less distress and greater overall well-being (Allison et al., 2014). An individual diagnosed with cancer has unique needs and will most likely need support from a multitude of people, including their family, friends, neighbors, and other cancer patients and survivors. Some examples of support needed maybe someone to drive them to treatment if they are feeling too ill; be present during medical appointments; assist with roles in the household; pick up medications; fill out medical leave forms; or be available to listen to their fears and worries. Without this social support, a patient may be left alone to manage their illness in isolation.
Examples of how social support systems can improve illness in cancer patients is by ensuring they get to their life-saving treatments, they can encourage them to engage in healthy activities and limit risky behaviors, such as smoking, and they can support them when they are depressed or anxious providing encouragement and support.
Then, explain the importance of assessing the quality of the patient’s social support system. List a set of three questions that you think are important for assessing the patient’s social support system. Justify your selection
Barger (2013) reports “higher-quality relationships and more frequent social contacts are associated with better health” (p. 511). One way a social worker can determine a patient’s support system is through an assessment. Several questions come to mind helping determine the quality and quantity of these supports: 1) Who are the people you count on to support you when things are difficult, 2) How do they support you?, and 3) Who helps you relax and calms your fears? The first question identifies the patient’s support system, the second question tells the social worker how the patient is supported, and the third question identifies if the patient is supported emotionally.
Then, explain how the roles of a medical social worker might improve the quality of the support for the patient. Explain one strategy that might be effective in improving the social support system of a patient
An oncology social worker provides psychosocial support to their patients and should suggest interventions that can help improve social support for patients. If a patient is lacking quality relationships, there may be different reasons for this deficit. Family education and counseling, engagement in support groups, and involvement in yoga or mindful meditation may be helpful in decreasing stress and anxiety, which in turn may improve relationships with others.
Allison J., A., Emma M., S., Jennifer, L.-B., Hayley, P., Barry, R., & William, B. (2014). Optimism, social support, and mental health outcomes in patients with advanced cancer. Pscyho-Oncology, 23(3), 299–306. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1002/pon.3418
Barger, S. D. (2013). Social integration, social support and mortality in the US National Health Interview Survey. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75(5), 510–517