Social Work Essay Example on a Medication Error Case

Published: 2022-09-01
Social Work Essay Example on a Medication Error Case
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Social work
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 961 words
9 min read

Description of the Incident

According to Facts (2014), most social workers tend to come across several critical incidents, most of which end up causing them to reflect on the events that have occurred. Learning from such incidents makes the social workers more experienced in their respective fields (Facts, 2014). A critical incident can happen positively or negatively (Saleebey, 1996). An example of a critical incident that I experienced was a medication error. In this case, a doctor provided the wrong medication to a patient who had dysphagia, clearing him to proceed to oral treatment. Interventions were however made, and the patient did not undergo any harm. As an aspiring social worker, I learned from this experience that precaution is a significant key while attending to clients. Details from Facts (2014) suggest that the provision of Hospice care services requires a social worker to be aware of all medical conditions of his client to avoid the act of prescribing the wrong medication.

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I learned several lessons from this incident. Medication error can be prevented with the appropriate intervention. Before administering any Hospice care services, it's important to go through the medical records of the client to be aware of any health concern that can be triggered by a particular medicine. Monitoring the response of a patient while administering Hospice care services is also important to identify early signs of an adverse reaction to a specific medication (Mulligan, 2005). I also learned that communication with the client is vital for a social worker since it can be used to avoid the occurrence of a critical error. Proper interpretation of a client's behavior is an essential self-insight. From the incident, I was able to predict when a client is not sure about the information he is providing, and this is crucial since it can help prevent the occurrence of an incident.

Detailed Description of the Overall Field Experience

Mulligan (2005) states that social work is associated with several values that one must be aware of. Such values and skills can be obtained from the occurrence of critical incidents like the one described in this case. I learned from this incident that principles are essential when it comes to social work. Any social worker should be driven by principles since they can guide him when it comes to the crucial act of decision making. A worker who is guided by principles while administering Hospice care services cannot attend to a client without learning his or her medical history (Saleebey, 1996). Principles allow social workers to be competent in their work (Saleebey, 1996). I also learned that research and practice is an important knowledge that a social worker should possess before providing any kind of service. Such knowledge allows such a worker to solve challenges that he may come across.

Apart from values and knowledge, skills are also a relevant tool for a social worker while administering various services in the field (Mulligan, 2005). From this critical incident, I realized that a thorough assessment is essential while providing care to a client. Through the evaluation, it becomes possible to identify information that may be crucial and related to the client's health. Other skills such as evaluation and verbal communication are also relevant. Any social worker that possesses a combination of values, skills, and knowledge is in an excellent position to provide proper services to different clients. These services allow social workers to avoid a critical incident that may occur negatively since it may end up having harmful effects on a patient or a client.

Teachings from the Experience About Myself

From this incident, I came to realize that I'm a sensitive individual especially when it comes to matters that may end up endangering the health of an individual. As a result, I'm always cautious when it comes to social work. I, therefore, ensure that I deal with my clients carefully while providing Hospice care services to avoid any incident from occurring. This incident created awareness of qualities needed to thrive and overcome challenges in that it proved that errors could be made by the most qualified professionals while providing any form of care. Approaching clients with caution is highly recommended since it helps social workers to overcome various challenges (McBeath & Webb, 2002). This incident prompted me to think about my behavior change while performing services as a social worker. My behavior around clients is responsible for the outcome of the overall practice of my social work since it's a crucial determinant of success in the provision of any service. As a competent social worker, I realized that I must learn how to be flexible in terms of behavior when I'm around different kinds of clients.

I've come to learn about the importance of understanding about my working environment. This will provide me with the required information that will allow me to adapt to such an environment with great ease. From the incident described in this paper, I've learned that in the future, I must be a dependable social worker, one who can be flexible due to the various kinds of clients that I'll be attending to. I must be driven by my profession in order to find it more interesting. Social work requires an individual to be persistent in all activities to develop a clear understanding of the field. This allows a social worker to provide services efficiently without any concerns (McBeath & Webb, 2002).


Facts, N. H. P. C. O. (2014). Hospice care in America.

McBeath, G., & Webb, S. A. (2002). Virtue ethics and social work: Being lucky, realistic, and not doing one's duty. British Journal of Social Work, 32(8), 1015-1036.

Mulligan, A. (2005). Should dying patients be monitored? A reflective analysis of a critical incident. Nursing in critical care, 10(3), 122-126.

Saleebey, D. (1996). The strengths perspective in social work practice: Extensions and cautions. Social work, 41(3), 296-305.

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