The Nephrology Social Worker as the Primary Psychological Practitioner
In perusing the literature of psychosocial factors associated with end-stage renal disease, it is not unusual to find frequent references to interdisciplinary cooperation and team interaction. The reason for this is rather simple, for, in the relatively few years of dialysis/transplant development, it has become more and more apparent that the support systems surrounding this particular patient group are unique in concept and function. In no other area of medical specialty is the concentration of staff-patient contact as intense or ongoing, so intimately related to treatment and success or failure of this treatment. One finds it hard to compare even the myriad of cancer therapies or the strenuous mechanics of rehabilitation medicine to the crowded scale of day to day, medical and social attention that is rained upon the patient held captive by his kidney failure. Working in this arena, a professional feels the impact of loss and dependency more strongly than in other specialty areas and hears more clearly the call for psychological support from these patients who are neither well nor dying, fully dependent nor free, and neither in control nor fully without it.
KeywordsSocial Worker Kidney Failure Home Agency Chronic Hemodialysis Dialysis Unit
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