Be specific

Home Echo Discussions Module 2 Discussion Be specific

  • This topic has 6 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated by JulieSchreiber.
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    I appreciate the way the social worker approached the fact that the patient did not receive information up front about the risk of infertility.  There are a few things that I found missing, however.  The first is establishing that the patient, indeed, has an interest in having children. He only talks about how his potential infertility might affect his girlfriend and doesn’t talk much about how it affects him other than he is upset that he wasn’t informed earlier.  I would want to delve further into that and make sure the patient was interested in pursuing the conversation about fertility options prior to launching into options.  I would also be more specific than defining the term “natural conception” as “the old fashioned way.”  Although we, as an educated group, have a good working knowledge of how babies are made, we cannot assume this is true for the general population.  Using appropriate terms such as “natural conception is when a pregnancy results from sperm ejaculation into the vagina” could be very helpful for some patients.  Another aspect that is important is discussing ways fertility can be evaluated prior to trying for a pregnancy (i.e. semen analysis).  Sometimes just knowing that they can know ahead of trying what their chance might be can reduce anxiety in some patients.


    Agree with you on that we don’t know where everyone is at in their knowledge of conception and fertility. If they grew up in a very conservative community and family it may be something that has never been discussed before. We want to make sure our patients have the right information and not just assume that they do.


    I have always said that as social workers, we have to start where the patient/client is at the moment.  I agree with your point.  She did not ask what his needs are and went straight to the education.  If he is not ready to hear any of the education, there is a slight possibility he may have a negative perception and may not want to come back to any sessions afterwards.


    I also agree in using appropriate words for what she’s describing.  I also think that engaging the client as what he understand these terms.  I always like to check in with my patients after explaining terms and I like to ask what they understood and if they can explain it back to me in their own.  That is always a great way to check in and see if they are following or if they need more information.


    You all bring up some very good observations regarding the social workers approach to the fertility conversation. Thank you for your posts.


    I agree that it is crucial to “start where the patient/client is at the moment” as this will guide the conversation to where it will be most helpful and informative


    I agree and appreciate the observations discussed about this encounter.  It’s difficulty without context into the lead-up to this session with the social worker, but it does appear to highlight the missed opportunity to meet the client where he is at and invite him to identify what his concerns and goals are vs a psychoeducational session on fertility options.


    I feel like the therapist should introduce the idea of “donor sperm” in a more delicate way. Male fertility can be a source of pride for men in many cultures and the thought of using another man’s sperm to make his wife pregnant is a very touchy subject. I was waiting for the actor to become angry or start crying after she said “donor sperm”. Is there a way that this could be communicated in a more sensitive way? Maybe asking the patient how he would feel if his only option, in order for his wife to become pregnant, was to have donor sperm provided?

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