Social Work Practicum - Course Work Sample

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Harvey Mudd College
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Course work
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Client pseudonym (Do NOT use real name): Betty White

Relevant information or background for understanding interview context, e.g. age if a child, citizenship status, ethnicity: Caucasian

Date of interview: 2/20/2017

Location of interview: The Social Work Agency

Interview Purpose: Assessment

Persons Present & Relationship to Client1: Tanya Bosse, Field Instructor, Client

Prior Contact with Client: Meeting the for the first time.

Actions Taken to Prepare for Interview: Help him cope with situation of dementia and also help

II.Verbatim Dialogue

Verbatim Dialogue/Content

(Exactly what was said and done during your meeting with the client; verbal & nonverbal)

HYPERLINK \l "PR_TableGarthwait" Skills Used2

(For example, clarifying, offer empathy, use of open-ended question) Describe Your HYPERLINK \l "PR_Feelings" Affective Reactions While the Conversation Was Occurring

(Affective What you were feeling, i.e. your gut reactions) Describe Your Cognitive Reactions and Assessment While the Conversation Was Occurring

(Cognitive Your thoughts and evaluation)

Field Instructors

Comments: I said; I would like to make sure that you get to know why I would like to refer you to a mental health care facility. As I informed you in the start of this session I am very much caring and I need the best for you. I need you to get proper health care. Your mental health is my concern as a health service provider. You need to seek further care which I cannot offer within my training.

C: What he said: I know you can assist me; my son wants me to get help but he is not sure what I should get as per my health. He insists I should be cared for at home.

What I said: Yes that is why am here to help you recover, I am going to offer my best support I can. But first I want ensure you understand why am doing this.

He said: (nods his head like in an agreement) I know I believe you are here to help me with my problems.

I am feeling anxious being my first time conducting such an interview but I feel I should do a totally good job to help this family

I employed the use of open-ended responses to assist him get to know how to start this kind of conversation Sad about the situation

I am feeling so concerned for the patient needs help but his son keeps her at home due to the fathers instructions that he should just stay at home Feeling sad and anxious I used a proper greeting which I consider standard to get the meeting started with the patients

III. Interview AnalysisI was quite impressed with this session. I was so keen to apply many skills I learned. They really helped a great deal to keep the client talking even in awkward moments. At some point, he talked without me asking many questions. I am focused on using many of the skills I learn to help many of such clients recover and have hope in life. I would love to apply silence even more as well as summarizing. In some situations, I failed to listen carefully so I could not understand everything. I will keep working and giving my best shot to developing these skills.

Getting involved in this interview with the client has reminded me that being elderly and ill is such a complex thing. The setback does occur right from the point one starts his day till the end of the day. The complexity of old age can be attributed to so many illnesses that are associated with the body. Upon reflection on the interview, I was ready for the interview due to the materials I accessed before the interview. Feeling Wheel took the better part of me and I greatly felt emotional throughout the interview. The questions as well as research guide I covered helped me during the interview face. The process recording helped me gain relevant information form the client since I could offer the much-needed help to understand the skill of self-control and active talking and understanding especially when told not to take medication.

Garthwait (2014) posit that verbal, as well as written communication in social work, should be comprehensive. If they are well stipulated they form the basis of social work and are very integral in performing many activities. Knowing what to do assisted me to tell the client what she needed to help her with her mental case especially when those caring for her do not know what to do.

The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers indicates that any social worker needs to possess the relevant expertise to facilitate various activities within their jurisdiction (Brill, 2001).

This older adult needs my full professional help to recover.

In the course of the interview, I got to know that I can discern the various elements which are crucial in giving room for the client to open up and talk as well as engage in active listening. Getting my active listening skills top-notch is part of my profession, and it reflects how competent I am in delivering the services to those who are in need of them. I have always been a keen listener, and I believe this is an important element for my career too.

The social exchange theory is a good theory of associating with this situation. The son feels he should not engage with anyone in helping the parent (Markovsky, & Cook, 1989). This is a lack of control to know what is right and wrong with regards to the protection of life and health of the parent. His decision does not only affect him but affects the parent who probably is not getting proper medication. This theory, therefore, directs him to behave well in response to his parents health. The decision he makes has an effect on the parents, so he has to exercise self-control in sound decision making.

The Labelling theory also applies in this situation as the client needs to be watched for not being able to pass sound judgments (Scheff, 1974). The actions of the son could lead to poor health and result to death, and he is someone to keep under watch. From the cultural background, I believe older adults are well cared for, and anyone who attempts to mislead them is usually considered a threat to the health of these individuals as well as the society. Avoiding them can lead to punishment as the law indicates (Simmons, 2008). When I talk to the man who is not able to take medication, I feel so desperate that I need to help him overcome this situation. I even feel so bad when I learn of acute dementia in the elderly woman who apparently thinks the husband is sleeping. It would feel so bad is she discovers reality when she gains her memory.

In my honest opinion, I was quite in line with my objectives to achieve the interview goals. Coupled with the previous skills I got to learn from reading through materials of such a similar interview, some other reasons I could attain the goals are inclusive of but not limited to; I established an enabling environment that the client felt free to talk the problems and admit he needed my help. I also created an excellent rapport that was sustainable throughout the interview. I was able to avoid eye contacts as a signal of respect, but at some point, I would probe them directly to show concern and urgency. I used body language to put emphasis on a few aspects of the interview. I signaled in many cases in a relaxed mode to show my concern to listen to the problems.


IV. Social Service Plan/Intervention Plan/Plan for Future Action (Hypothetical, if needed)

The wife would continue getting attending a session to help her with her loss of memory. She will also attend a mental clinic where proper medication will be offered as well as monitoring. Some of the services would be offered at the The Good Shepherd Hospice as they would also help with the follow-up process to ensure the patient receives all the relevant services.

The potential barriers that could be detrimental to this process as stipulated by the patient and I would be a lack of sustainable commitments as I am not the best person to treat her dementia. I would remove this barrier by doing a follow up with the psychiatrist assigned to her and ensure she is well taken care of and that she is taking her medication.

V. Field Instructor Consultation (Identify questions for debriefing/processing with your field instructor.)

One particular question I discussed with the field instructor was how to involve the clients in a participatory discussion when they dont feel like getting involved. In this situation, they were older adults, but I needed to know about all ages especially children. The response was appealing, and it was that you allow the client build the structured relationship that enhances the rapport which is much needed in getting the conversation going.

VI. Signatures




Students Signature: Date:

Students Printed Name: Date:

Field Instructors Signature: Date:

Field Instructors Email: Field Instructors Phone #:


Reference Page

Garthwait, C.L. (2014). The social work practicum: a guide and workbook for students. United States: Pearson.

Simmons, C. (2008). NASW Cultural Competence Indicators: A New Tool for the Social Work Profession. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity In Social Work, 17(1), 4-20.

Brill, C. (2001). Looking at the Social Work Profession Through the Eye of the NASW Code of Ethics. Research On Social Work Practice, 11(2), 223-234.

Markovsky, B., & Cook, K. (1989). Social Exchange Theory. Social Forces, 68(2), 647.

Scheff, T. (1974). The Labelling Theory of Mental Illness. American Sociological Review, 39(3), 444.


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