SOCIAL WORKERS AND THE TERMINALLY ILL: SOCIAL WORKERS' FEELINGS ABOUT CLIENTS, JOB SATISFACTION, AND ORGANIZATIONAL SETTINGS
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This study was undertaken to investigate how working with terminally ill clients affects social workers. An ideal model of care was postulated which included the elements of open communication, flexibility, interdisciplinary team, patient/family as a unit of care, and symptom control.;The sample in the study included 48 hospital social workers, 31 nursing home social workers, and 21 hospice social workers. All subjects in the sample were administered an interview schedule specifically developed for the study.;The study proposed three hypotheses. Hypothesis 1 stated that social workers employed in hospices will report a significantly greater amount of the ideal model of care than social workers in hospitals or nursing homes on each of the five elements which comprised the ideal model. Hypothesis 2 stated that social workers in organizational settings in which a greater degree of the ideal model is perceived to be present, as indicated by higher scores on each of the five elements, will experience more positive feelings toward their clients. Hypothesis 3 stated that social workers in organizational settings in which a greater degree of the ideal model is perceived to be present, as indicated by higher scores on each of the five elements, will experience increased job satisfaction.;Statistically significant differences emerged for social workers employed in hospices who scored higher on four of the five elements of the ideal model and in the level of job satisfaction for those social workers who perceived a greater degree of open communication in their facility.;Hospice settings were perceived to include more open communication, flexibility, patient/family as a unit of care, and symptom control. Social workers who reported greater open communication in their organizational settings also reported greater job satisfaction in these same settings.;The other nine hypotheses did not yield statistical differences. Those social workers who reported a high degree of open communication in their organizations did not have more positive feelings for clients. Social workers who reported a high degree of flexibility, interdisciplinary team, patient/family as a unit of care, and symptom control did not report more positive feelings for clients or increased job satisfaction.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 44-12, Section: A, page: 3816.