Social workers attend conference
SOCIAL workers from around the region got together in Gympie recently for the inaugural district health service social work conference.
Speakers from all facets of health care presented a variety of topics including online learning, assessing for capacity in patients with dementia and organ and tissue donation.
Director of social work Melissa D’Or, said social workers within the health sector delivered a broad range of clinical and support services to thousands of patients and their families every day.
Ms D’Or said social workers provided support to individuals, families and vulnerable populations so they could cope with chronic, acute or terminal illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
“They also help family caregivers, provide counselling and help plan for patients’ needs after discharge from hospitals.
“In health we are often dealing with the pointy end of life – the crisis points.
“It’s your elderly relative looking like they may need more support in the home or even a residential aged care placement.
“It’s families in pain after an unexpected death.
“It’s children and adults with cancer and the list goes on.
“It’s life’s hardships that we deal with on a day-to-day basis but don’t get me wrong, it’s also a hugely rewarding job.”
Ms D’Or presented an assessing decision making capacity in the hospital setting – something that as a social worker in health is something she deals with almost every day.
“I find it amazing sometimes that families haven’t talked about the final stages of life and what happens when the patient no longer has the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf or when patients have the capacity but it’s not what their family thinks is best.”