The Light Beyond Bereavement Forum Bereavement StoreMovieBlogSympathy Ecards
Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own...

Go Back   The Light Beyond Bereavement Forums > Loss of a loved one > Loss of a friend
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 7th, 2007, 02:56
Calypso Calypso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 205
Default Dual Role Doesn't Work

I'm a hospice social worker. About six months ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After aggressive treatment failed, she signed on to the hospice where I worked with the understanding that I would be her social worker.

Bottom line: we kept her comfortable physically, spiritually,and emotionally, and she died a peaceful death. T

I wish I'd asked that she be assigned to the other social worker, though. Trying to determine where our professional relationship ended and our friendship began all but tore me in two. For instance, when I stayed all night so her husband could get some rest, was I acting as a friend, a social worker, or both? And if I didn't know,then my agency certainly didn't. If you work in the medical profession in any capacity, be smarter than I was. Don't treat your friends. It just hurts too, too much.

I will never make the mistake of trying to work with a dyring friend in a professional capacity again.
__________________
Writers and readers are welcome at
www.debrastang.net
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old June 7th, 2007, 09:36
lilyflower_1978 lilyflower_1978 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 53
Default

I imagine it would be a hard line to see. When my Grandpa's health was in decline he opted to go to a nursing home that happened to be where my aunt worked. They had her working a different area and she made sure to stop by during breaks or at the end of the work day.

Do you feel you held back since you were dealing with her on a professional level as well? I'm sorry you felt such conflict. Now you know if, God forbid, the situation arises again.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old June 7th, 2007, 11:28
Mom2Bobby&Kara Mom2Bobby&Kara is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
Default

I have wondered how those who work with the sick and dying have the reserves to deal with such sadness. It can only be accomplished by keeping a "professional distance" as you must live your life too.

I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Although difficult for you, I know that she was thankful for your assistance during her last days.

Thank you for all you do for those who are ill. I know it must be a difficult "calling", but I'm sure it has its rewards as well.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old June 7th, 2007, 14:52
tater03 tater03 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 52
Default

I could see how this would be hard. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend.

I would think that being both the social worker and a friend would blur the lines. Not only that but everyone at times like this needs to be able to leave for a moment and collect their thoughts. I would imagine it would have been hard to find that time trying to do both roles.

That being said you sound like you gave her alot of comfort in her last days and are a very great friend to have.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old June 8th, 2007, 02:44
Calypso Calypso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 205
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower_1978 View Post
Do you feel you held back since you were dealing with her on a professional level as well? I'm sorry you felt such conflict. Now you know if, God forbid, the situation arises again.
That's a good question...I probably did hold back a little with the family during her final days. She was not responsive, and like her loved ones, I wanted to cry and rage at the unfairness of it all, but of course having onen's social worker lose control isn't very helpful, so I did a lot of listening, a lot of hand-holding, a lot of reassuring.

And then when I left the home and got in my car I would shake and cry so hard I scarcely trusted myself to drive...and then it was on to the next family where I had to be calm and professional again.

Like I said, I think me and my co-workers managed to keep her comfortable and her family comforted at the end, but it was and still is a real strain on me. I wouldn't do it again.
__________________
Writers and readers are welcome at
www.debrastang.net
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old June 8th, 2007, 20:32
debrajean debrajean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso View Post
I'm a hospice social worker. About six months ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After aggressive treatment failed, she signed on to the hospice where I worked with the understanding that I would be her social worker.

Bottom line: we kept her comfortable physically, spiritually,and emotionally, and she died a peaceful death. T

I wish I'd asked that she be assigned to the other social worker, though. Trying to determine where our professional relationship ended and our friendship began all but tore me in two. For instance, when I stayed all night so her husband could get some rest, was I acting as a friend, a social worker, or both? And if I didn't know,then my agency certainly didn't. If you work in the medical profession in any capacity, be smarter than I was. Don't treat your friends. It just hurts too, too much.

I will never make the mistake of trying to work with a dyring friend in a professional capacity again.
But, keep in mind, calypso that this friend needed you. I realize the pain of losing this friend was horrifying and devastating for you, but think of the comfort you brought to her.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old June 8th, 2007, 20:33
debrajean debrajean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower_1978 View Post
I imagine it would be a hard line to see. When my Grandpa's health was in decline he opted to go to a nursing home that happened to be where my aunt worked. They had her working a different area and she made sure to stop by during breaks or at the end of the work day.

Do you feel you held back since you were dealing with her on a professional level as well? I'm sorry you felt such conflict. Now you know if, God forbid, the situation arises again.
This is the tough part, the struggle to keep a professional distance and to be there as a loving friend. Many can do it, but as calypso pointed out it can be a difficult ball to hold.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old June 8th, 2007, 20:36
debrajean debrajean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tater03 View Post
I could see how this would be hard. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend.

I would think that being both the social worker and a friend would blur the lines. Not only that but everyone at times like this needs to be able to leave for a moment and collect their thoughts. I would imagine it would have been hard to find that time trying to do both roles.

That being said you sound like you gave her alot of comfort in her last days and are a very great friend to have.
I would think it would be like a psychiatrist treating her best friend. You know your friend on a personal level, do you really want to know her deepest, innermost thoughts and feelings? The ones that make her tick?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old June 9th, 2007, 00:42
Calypso Calypso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 205
Default

I admit I found out more about old family dynamics than I ever wanted to, especially when this woman lingered in her dying process and the family got stressed out and started some he said/she said sniping at each other. Again, I was learning things as a social worker that I hadn't known, that this woman had, in fact, chosen not to tell me as a friend. Very awkward, especially when I see the family in the community and wonder if they realize just how much I overheard...
__________________
Writers and readers are welcome at
www.debrastang.net
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old June 10th, 2007, 10:31
eldragon eldragon is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
Default

Many agencies do not allow you to be with close friends and relatives. For instance : funeral directors and employees cannot (or at least have a choice) in whether or not they work on people they have know before death.

It might have been more than should be expected of you to be a professional and a friend during such a stressful time.

I also had a friend die of pancreatic cancer. It is a death sentence.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24.


Copyright 2017 The Light Beyond. Visit the main site at www.thelightbeyond.com