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Question Description


Discussion 1: Hospice Social Work

Hospice is a concept of care that does not accelerate death or prolong life. It provides support and comfort to patients and caregivers in the face of a terminal illness that is no longer responding to standard medical treatment. Hospice services are delivered by a specialized team of health care professionals to provide comfort and dignity to patients in their last days of life. Social workers are an integral part of any hospice team. The burden of working with individuals at the end of life can be significant for members of a hospice team who are confronted with death on a daily basis. Hospice social workers in particular must be mindful of issues of secondary trauma and self-care.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review this week’s resources. Consider hospice care at the end of life and the different programs providing hospice service. Examine the quality of each program. Think about the emotional burden experienced by a hospice social worker.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the importance of an interdisciplinary team in end-of-life care. Briefly describe different programs providing hospice care with regard to team structure and scope of services. Compare the roles of a social worker on a hospice team in a hospital-based program and in a home hospice program. Explain your feelings about the emotionally intense work of hospice care. Finally, explain the strategies you might consider to cope with your emotions.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.


Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Sanders, S., & Swails, P. (2011). A quest for meaning: Hospice social workers and patients with end-stage dementia. Social Work, 56(2), 129–140.

Waldrop, D. P., & Meeker, M. A. (2012). Hospice decision making: Diagnosis makes a difference. Gerontologist, 52(5), 686–697.

Beder, J. (2006). Hospital social work: The interface of medicine and caring. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Chapter 5, “The Hospice Social Worker” (pp. 45–55)

McCoyd, J. L. M., & Kerson, T. S., (Eds.). (2016). Social work in health settings: Practice in context (4th ed.) New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Chapter 20, “Geriatric Social Work in a Community Hospital: High-Tough, Low-Tech Work in a High-Tech, Low-Touch Environment” (pp. 249-259)

American Cancer Society. (2013). Hospice care. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002868-pdf.pdf

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of health social work (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Chapter 22, “Pain Management and Palliative Care” (pp. 525-562)

Bailey, G. (2013). NASW standards for social work practice in palliative and end of life care. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xBMd58VwEhk%3D&portalid=0

Caring Connections. (n.d.). Palliative care questions and answers. Retrieved from http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3355

Bosma, H., Johnston, M., Cadell, S., Wainwright, W., Abernethy, N., Feron, A., … Nelson, F. (2010). Creating social work competencies for practice in hospice palliative care. Palliative Medicine, 24(1), 79–87.

Cadell, S., Johnston, M., Bosma, H., & Wainright, W. (2010). An overview of contemporary social work practice in palliative care. Progress in Palliative Care, 18(4), 205–211.

Ghoshal, A., Salins, N., Damani, A., Deodhar, J. & Muckaden, M. (2016). Specialist pediatric palliative care referral practices in pediatric oncology: A large 5-year retrospective audit. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 22(3), 266-273.

O’Connor, M., & Fisher, C. (2011). Exploring the dynamics of interdisciplinary palliative care teams in providing psychosocial care: “Everybody thinks that everybody can do it and they can’t.” Journal of Palliative Medicine, 14(2), 191–196.

Optional Resources

National Consensus Project. (2009). Clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care. Retrieved from https://www.hpna.org/multimedia/NCP_Clinical_Practice_Guidelines_3rd_Edition.pdf

Sanders, S., & Swails, P. (2011). A quest for meaning: Hospice social workers and patients with end-stage dementia. Social Work, 56(2), 129–140.

Waldrop, D. P., & Meeker, M. A. (2012). Hospice decision making: Diagnosis makes a difference. Gerontologist, 52(5), 686–697.