In the beginning, this problem was mostly specific to psychiatrists, and their patients and the code of conduct only covered these set of physicians (Knapp, 2012). However, in recent times, the issues that deal with having sexual relationships with patients addresses all physicians (Pope, 2008). In this case, the social worker should try and assess the impact on the client and whether their course of action may affect their general well-being (Pope, 2008). The client should be made aware of the effects of having a sexual relationship with a hospital social worker. This responsibility lies with the other social worker who is involved with the client.
The profession would be severely tainted depending on the social worker’s course of action. It is imperative to remind their colleague of the damage that could be done if they do not get severe the relationship immediately. They could be subject to a disciplinary hearing, which would end up in their license being withdrawn (Barnett, 2007). About the code of ethics, the social worker must advise their colleague on what the code of ethics states about such issues and the repercussions (Knapp, 2012). This is meant to remove them from that relationship effective immediately. This should be done swiftly to ensure that it grabs less attention among other colleagues.
If all is said and done, and they are still engaged in the relationship, it would be in their best interest to inform one’s supervisor, administrator, or higher authority (Barnett, 2007). This would be to help that work and ensure that the profession has not been compromised. The higher power will decide what they would want to do in this case, and if the relationship does not cease, it could lead to disciplinary action.
Barnett, J. E., Lazarus, A. A., Vasquez, M. J., Moorehead-Slaughter, O., & Johnson, W. B. (2007). Boundary issues and multiple relationships: Fantasy and reality. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(4), 401-410.
Knapp, S. J. & VandeCreek, L. D. (2012). Practical ethics for psychologists: A positive approach (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.Pope, K. S., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2008). A practical approach to boundaries in psychotherapy: Making decisions, bypassing blunders, and mending fences. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 64(5), 638-652.
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