I am in agreement with several of the other discussion posts – I would approach the conversation a bit differently than the social worker did. I do appreciate her validation and hopefulness that she provided to the patient. However, I would like to start more open-ended in assessing the patient’s feelings about not receiving information on fertility preservation during cancer treatment, current concerns about fertility, interests in family building, current knowledge about available options, etc. I would also take a conversational approach to the discussion rather than a didactic approach, moving at a slower pace through the information to allow time for the patient to process information, ask questions, and actively engage in the conversation.
I really appreciate your thoughtful response to this module and the video clip. I understand what the video clip was trying to show in a short period of time, but agree that allowing the patient to process his emotions related to not having been advised of fertility options prior to starting treatment would be helpful and finding out what the patient understands about fertility and family planning options post-treatment would better guide the conversation going forward. I think this social worker was trying to give an overview and then likely would circle back to allow for more conversation, but I am making an assumption. However, it did feel (to me) that the social worker seemed a little uncomfortable discussing sex and reproductive options based on the terminology she used. This was addressed by someone in another post who mentioned that she could have used the word sex, instead of “the old fashioned way”. I think it is important for health care professionals to feel comfortable with the subject matter and use clear, age-appropriate terminology with patients and family members. I liked that the social worker offered to include the patient’s girlfriend in future conversations.
The social worker approached the topic in a calm and reassuring manner, however I agree that she does come across as being slightly uncomfortable. I also would have taken more time in the beginning of the conversation, after he verbalized upset, to discuss his thoughts, knowledge, and goals. I feel like she directed the conversation and did not give the patient much opportunity to contribute to the conversation. She also gave him a lot of information all at once which can be difficult to process. I do like that she encouraged him to come back to talk at any time and to bring his girlfriend so that she can participate in the discussion.