Interactive Skill in Social Work Practice – Care Example

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"Interactive Skill in Social Work Practice"  is an engrossing example of a paper on care. In professional development and practice, reflection on situations is likely to improve the care for patients. Reflection is the key concept in understanding and integrating theories, methods, and practice, therefore, increasing the repertoire of skills of an individual. The paper is a reflection of my experience based on my first practice placement that would help me diversify and develop both personally and professionally in my career. It will aid in linking academic and practice learning.

The confidentiality shall be maintained and to protect the identity of the patients, the names have been changed in compliance with the Code of professional conduct (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2015).   According to Driscoll (2007), the model of structured reflection is aimed at practicing the lessons learned from experience. This is through the description of the event, analysis, proposed actions consequential to the event, and putting the actions into practice. It is important in achieving professional relationships, values, management approach, patient care delivery model, and compensation and rewards; elements of a professional practice model (Hoffart & Woods, 1996). It was the first placement of my course in a drug rehabilitation center.

My first patient was John, a sixteen-year-old teenage boy who had a cocaine addiction. I started getting basic information such as name, date of birth, and the reason for admission. The boy had a history of physical abuse from his stepfather. He had been in several rehabilitation centers before and was admitted to the current center after he was found unconscious in the streets due to the long term effects of addiction. He was hardly eating and experienced hallucinations and paranoia.   He had disturbed sleeping patterns and clearly, he was slowly sinking into depression.

He showed distrust and suspicion when I tried to make contact with him.   I was unprepared since it was my first time dealing with such a case, and it was comprehensible that I needed help. In regard to this situation, I was able to assess possible risks and developed an action plan to tackle this situation. First, I sought advice from a counselor at the facility while safeguarding the patient’ s confidentiality.

She was highly trained and had an experience of over 20 years with such cases. She guided me through identifying the needs of the teenager and my capacity to respond appropriately to his situation. Moreover, I studied several social work journals pertaining to how to care for young adults addicted to drugs. I ensured I had written down all the information gathered involving this situation. Effective communication skills were needed to find out what the patient felt in order to establish the context of the situation. Good communication is important for an affirmative outcome.

I demonstrated courtesy and sincerity and assured the patient of his confidentiality. The patient was also informed of the purpose of the assessment and the details that would be included. I embarked on finding out the patient’ s perspective regarding the problem. He stated that the cause of all his problems was his stepfather. John admitted to feeling “ like he wanted to die” . I also established that he was encouraged to take drugs by his best friend ' that it would help him feel ‘ better. ’ It was in accordance with the Tavistock model of child observation that helps social workers to intervene in situations after reflection. The rehabilitation center was greatly understaffed, and this posed a major challenge in providing individualized care to the patients.

In addition, some patients became violent when agitated, and this could be attributed to side effects or withdrawal symptoms they experienced. It was my duty to understand and adopt the practice to respond to different groups and individuals. It was evident that John had a difficult past that affected contributed to his indulgence in drugs and more so, addiction.

After several sessions with John, I tried to weigh out options with him to identify a solution. I applied the problem-solving practice model that assists the patients to come up with a solution without telling them what to do. It was done by inquiring what he wanted to be in the future. He wanted to change, but he had no idea how to start. He was able to identify behavioral changes that would avert his addiction to drugs. John established short, measurable goals such as getting involved in fun outdoor activities and helping more in the house through task-centered practice. The sessions were eye-opening to John’ s abilities such as painting and drawing.

Through, narrative therapy, I encouraged John to create artwork that reflected his feelings especially when he felt depressed. I was able to assist him in identifying patterns of self-destructive thoughts that influence emotions. This would aid him in abstaining from drugs until the phase was over. Based on Systems theory by (Forder, 1976), I encouraged his mother and younger siblings to support him in behavioral change.

The theory focuses on the families helping in resolving the problem directly despite being an individualistic issue. The placement enabled me to familiarize myself with possible challenges that I may encounter in the facility in the future. I became aware of the ethical dilemmas such as the patient was allowed to make his own decisions and finding out solutions to his problems regardless of my opinion. The decisions made by the patients were not to be influenced by the social worker. In order to address this dilemma, one had to rationalize with the client. In conclusion, this first placement helped me acquire tools, skills, and insights that could be used in the second placement in support of my continuing professional development.

I have been able to practice safe and effective practice by setting out standards by the standards of proficiency (Health and Care Professions Council, 2012). Reflection has aided me in the identification of skills including communication, observation, and assessment, knowledge, and values that are needed to help me become skillful in my practice. Furthermore, I have also established a rapport that can be used in working with others including colleagues and clients.


Driscoll, J., 2007. Model of Reflection. Journal of Clinical Nursing , pp. 71-75.

Forder, A., 1976. Social work and systems theory . British Journal of Social Work , pp. 23-42.

Health and Care Professions Council., 2012. Standards of proficiency - Social workers in England. pp. 4-20.

Hoffart, N., & Woods, C., 1996. Elements of a nursing professional practice model. Journal of Professional Nursing , 12 (6), pp. 354-364.

Nursing and Midwifery Council., 2015. The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. Nursing and Midwifery Council .

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