Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good luck today!!

Returning to work after a long weekend is tough. Especially after one filled with lots of sun and fun.

I hope all of our weeks go fast out there in Socialworkerland though, and that they are filled with nothing too crazy or stressful.

Summer is finally here afterall!

That means we should all be able to relax a little bit, and bring that sun and fun into our daily grind, even on the job.

We need to take our jobs seriously, however, I hope this post brings you a little more sun and fun into all that seriousness.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bikram video

Amazing to see how this woman's life has changed from the practice. Thanks for sharing Jacob.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kick off to Summer Blanks

1. If I could get away somewhere for the weekend I would go on a cruise to somewhere warm and beachy. I would be content with sitting on a sundeck drinking cocktails, reading a good book and eating from the all-you-can-eat buffet till my heart is content.

2. Something I often rant about is DH and some of the situations I come across at work. Oh, and of course health care in the U.S. And the ridiculous cost of Long Island living.

3. One item I need to have in my fridge at all times is ice cream. It's not in the fridge, it's in the freezer (duh), but ice cream makes anything better.

4. My "life-saving" product is simple, yummy smelling lotion. I use it to soften my skin, and rub it in my hair when I am done blow-drying. I am not a products girl by nature at all though.

5. A friend is someone who you can go years without seeing, and pick up right where you left off. A friend is also someone who lives in your computer and still manages to brighten your day :).

6. If I could write my own blank it would be..............hmmmmm........tell me something unique about yourself I would never guess.

7. My favorite kind of art is photography. I am also so fascinated with all the amazing photos I see on blogs.

Social work at a for-profit

Does anyone do social work at a for-profit?

What are some of the issues you have run into?

I've had some interesting situations arise this week that border on ethical matters.

Or perhaps you've worked in some other host environment where stuff has come up that has pushed you to your limits?

Discuss. I'd be interested to share experiences.

Happy Friday and Happy Beginning of Summer :D.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Looks like we made it!!!

Although with all of the end of the world talks over the past week........it did really make me stop to think WHAT IF?

As social workers we are used to dealing with many serious, crisis, life-altering and even life-ending situations. Most of them we, as well as our clients, have either little to absolutely no control over. As social workers, we really cannot do much at all besides just be there to lend an ear to listen, offer referrals to other providers, or in most cases, lend some kind of basic, comforting forms of support.

It is interesting though to stop to think about what we would do as helping professionals if we really were faced with a whole lot of destructive events at one time.

The only comparison I have, is to think back to the time when I was working in NYC during and after 9-11, when a lot of training and disaster planning went into place for social service agencies. This seemed like a major focus for social workers as well as related professions during this time period.

Despite all the talks of having disaster plans in place, what really stays with me, are the wise words of one social worker I know.

He said that the most important thing we need to remember in the event of another major disaster is that as social workers, we need to take care of ourselves (and our own families) first. We also need to understand that we probably will not be able to do anything, especially for our most vulnerable clients.

Loss is inevitable.

As a social worker have you ever had to deal with any major disaster?

How did you deal with it? Were you able to help anyone? If so, how? Or how NOT?

Do you have disaster plans in place at work? What about at home?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. People always tell me I look like some random character they saw on a TV show they can't remember the name of. I have also gotten Tori Spelling (????!!!!) and a long time ago, Tonya Harding (EEK!!!).

2. Friends don't let friends carry on with the gloom and doom for too long. We let them vent, but then it's time to get them into a place to move on :)

3. A sunny day is perfect for going to the park or my backyard. And after the week of rain and a still-icky watery basement, Mr. Sun, PLEASE! Hit me with your rays!!!

4. My favorite accessory is probably plain silver hoop earrings. They can't be too big though, or too small........

5. If I could afford it I would have a housekeeper and do a total gut-reno of my home. I'd also hire a sitter so I could go to hot yoga at least once a day.

6. The cure for boredom is to strike up a conversation with a 2.5 year old. They are so funny and say the randomest of things.

7. I am currently "in like" with the thought of a dry, clean, fresh smelling house. (And I WILL accomplish this over the weekend!). I am on a wet weather rant this week if you have noticed the theme.

Good blog link

Check this link out. It's a great little read that discusses dealing with negative people.

Happy Friday!!!! Hope your weekend is filled with little to NO negativity :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Ugh this weather is awful.

It's been raining since the weekend. With no end in sight.

Makes my mood all blah. I have limited motivation. Makes my hot yoga classes much more killer.

My basement flooded yesterday. And I'm having awful hairdays.

Please rain, go away already. I want my sun back. The light and bright rays is definitely something I take for granted when I don't see them for a few days.

How is the weather in your part of the world? How do you deal with it raining every day straight?


Oh, before I forget, welcome new blogging friends. I see I have gotten a few more followers in the past few days :) Feel free to jump in and say hello.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Did you ever accidentally report another social worker/agency?

Because this happened to me yesterday and I still feel kind of bad about it, even though it can happen to the best of us.

Anyways, this is the scenario:

Discharged a client from a nursing home last week.

They were given a one week supply of meds, and then a month's supply of scripts for refills.

I contacted the pharmacy to fill the meds, so they could then deliver to client. All of her scripts were able to be filled, except one---an extremely important psychiatric drug.

The pharmacist indicated that the nursing home had filled this at the end of April, so therefore, she would not be able to get a refill for a few more weeks.

I called the nursing home social worker who basically told me there was nothing that could be done. She had contacted their pharmacy who reported no record of the med being sent back. All of the other people who "may be able to help" were also out of the agency at the moment.

I spoke to the pharmacy I was working with again and they gave me a number to call to try to get a Medicaid over-ride, so the med could be filled. I ended up speaking with a man in THE NYS Medicaid office, who told me that if the pharmacy/nursing home did not produce the drug, or reverse their claim to Medicaid for a 30-day supply, they could be held responsible for Medicaid fraud.

He ended up calling both providers back threatening a report to the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG). Obviously, both providers were PISSED OFF at me for "reporting them" as was demonstrated in a bazillion calls back to me about this.

In any event, since this was all happening close to 5PM yesterday, I still ended up having to send the client to the psych ER for an emergency refill. This was something that also infuriated Medicaid man because of even more $$$$$ the system has to pay for, for something that is easily preventable. Note: I almost ended up having to call 911 over this too because the client's SSI money had not arrived yet, she already had used up all the carfare I gave her to get to her medical appointments last week, so therefore, had no way to even get to the ER. Fortunately, her aide loaned her money so she could go to the hospital.

I felt bad especially because the NH social worker told me she was the one who got reamed out for this happening.

I really don't think I could've done anything differently though. Have you ever been in a similar situation in your work? Did you ever have to report another social worker or helping provider (acidentally or not)?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Turning down cases

At the program I work for, as providers, we always have the option to turn down a case if we feel we are not going to be able to safely service them in the community and we can document that decision with facts.

I work at a for-profit home care agency though, so the fact is, we rarely turn down any case, especially if they will require a heavy number of home care hours.

Anyways, a few months ago, I went out and met with a case to do their intake, and ended up having to call Adult Protective Services right away for a variety of issues going on.

Everything from the home not having heat on the coldest day of the year, to the "guardian" (who has yet to be confirmed as being an actual guardian because the guardianship took place out of state!) not following up on getting the client medical and psychiatric providers.

To make a long story short, the office that oversees the program I work for initially ended up turning down this case because they did not feel the client could be safely served in the community.

Note: past medical records show the "guardian" taking the client out of a nursing home setting as well as inpatient psych many times against medical advice.

This should come as no surprise, since challenging cases never go away, a few months went by and they are back again, in need of services, and I've been directed to do the intake so our agency can service them.

In just a couple of weeks of trying to get out there to start the intake, a ton more red-flags have begun to pop up.

The "guardian" only wants our agency to hire two of her "friends" (who are related by the way) and no one else to provide the home-care piece.

"Guardian" refused to sign intake paperwork without having our agency put in writing that we will pay these "friends" a certain salary (which is a lot higher then anyone else in this role is currently making).

Now, "guardian" is refusing to sign any medical consent forms allowing myself and our agency to have interactions with the client's PCP/specialists/psychiatrist. (Note: I would need these completed to confirm that client is actually in treatment like "guardian" says).

The "guardian" also wants it in writing that our agency will never make an unannounced or last-minute home visit (something that is done on occasion, especially to ensure the aides are doing what they are supposed to be doing!) AND the kicker: the "guardian" wants it put into writing that we will never call APS again on them.

As a social worker, I would like to try to service this family, (Note: I also really have no choice but to try to service them!) however, it does not sit well with me that services are not even in place yet and the "guardian" is trying already to bend or break all the rules.

I can already tell there's going to be a ton of trouble with this case and our field nurse is already saying she does not want any part of it because it puts her license on the line.

Because I work where I do though, I know it's inevitable we will get this case, red flags and all.

Have you ever had someone you HAD to work with, where the family especially was super difficult from the beginning? What did you do to make it work?

Friday, May 6, 2011

I finally

was able to move a client into the community yesterday from a nursing home, after working with her for well over a year to get her out.

Believe it or not, this is probably one of my "shorter" time frames though.

Bringing someone out of a highly structured setting is a lengthy process and super stressful for ALL involved, because there are so many things that need to be followed up on for weeks prior, as well as for weeks after discharge. SO MANY things often go wrong too which is why nursing home discharges take so freakin' long. Biggest issues tend to center around housing location and money which I am sure is no surprise if you've been working in the field for awhile.

When you are dealing with someone who has complicated medical issues as well, often their conditions change while they are waiting out the process which can prolong things further. This happened too with this particular lady.

It all finally came together though (with only a few minor bumps yesterday that were easily worked out) and I have to say, that my heart felt open finally seeing her set free.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thought for today.

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.