There are so many areas that a social worker needs to know about. When I decided to go into social work I had thought that I would go into the field of medical social work with an emphasis in urological organ transplants. It was the experience that I had with the social worker in the hospital when my father had a heart attack that first introduced me to the world of social work. Once I became involved with the social work department at the university where I received my degree I realized that there were many possibilities of areas to go into. I still thought medical social work in urology and/or organ transplants would be an area of interest, but I ended up doing my internship at a residential facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents and I have spent the majority of my career working with children and families. I still have to have a wide area of knowledge, including medical information, particularly in the area of urinary tract issues, kidney transplants and male reproductive issues.
Many of the family members that I work with have a wide range of medical conditions, the majority of these conditions are mental health disorders, but there are a number of other physical health conditions that I encounter also. Every time you deal with a urological transplant recipient, the mental frame shifts. One of my main resources in educating myself as well as the families I work with is the urology physicians desk reference. The information that is available through this publication is extremely helpful in helping clients to understand their various disorders as well as the medications that they are on. The urology physicians desk reference, often times referred to as the UPDR, contains factual information about a wide variety of physical and mental health issues in the urology specialty. There are a few different versions of the resource.
There is the full publication that is put out annually. This is a huge bound reference manual. There is also a condensed version that is usually in paperback form and has condensed information about the various urological disorders and kidney transplant issues. This is the portable urology physicians desk reference that I usually have with me. I find it useful to have the reference with me in meeting with clients, especially if they are new to my case load. This way I can help them understand the diagnosis that they are telling me about, and also this insures them that I know about their issues. We can also look up different medications that they may be on so that we can understand the side effects as well as what the medication is treating. Many of my clients have been on so many medications through the years they do not remember why they are on them.
I have found that it can be dangerous for the clients to have a copy of a urology physicians desk reference of their own, especially hypochondriacs, because they will read through different disorders and actually begin showing the signs and symptoms. Now that the UPDR is available on-line I have many clients that are trying to self diagnosis which can lead to issues.
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