Palliative Care Queensland

Bridget Sumser became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to help people living with serious illness. Over the last 10 years, she has worked across healthcare settings, providing support and companionship to patients, families, community members and providers. In addition to her clinical work, she is a writer and educator and edited Palliative Care: A Guide for Health Social Workers (Oxford University Press, 2019).

This episode focuses on the valuable presence that Social Workers bring to the inter-disciplinary field of Palliative Care, as both grief informed advocates and systems-navigation experts. We also explore the tensions which can arise for Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers, who in addition to the demands of managing busy client caseloads, may also find themselves expected to support the grief-work of their colleagues and wider teams. We discuss the benefits of grief-literacy being shared across disciplines, how Palliative Care staff can cultivate personally-relevant mechanisms to support sustainable practice. Finally Bridget shares an overview of the recent text she edited, which offers practical education and insights for social workers through an intersectional and ecological systems exploration of eight domains of Palliative Care Social Work.

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