Friday, June 4, 2010

Surviving My First Week of Work and Disclosure

Disclosure is a word I know a lot about. As a social worker we learned about this in grad school. We talked about when and when not to disclose certain information about ourselves to clients. This is something that has always stuck with me.

While I was at my last job I was diagnosed with MS. I was in the hospital for a week when it happened and missed almost two weeks of work. I told my boss and coworkers (there were only 3 of them at the time) and I think it was a good decision b/c they were very supportive and it would have been hard to keep such a huge thing private.

When I was interviewing for this job I thought a lot about if I would disclose my big "secret" and decided that there really was no need for them to have this information. After getting the job I really didn't think I would tell my boss or any coworkers either. Again I didn't see the need for them to know and I didn't want anyone to treat me different before they really had a chance to get to know me.

Well that all changed - on my first day of work I was shadowing another social worker who is really great. We got talking and one thing led to another and I told her. She asked me some questions (another blog post will be coming about that soon) and was really supportive. She acted very normal about the whole thing which was nice. So that was that - one of my colleagues knew. No big deal.

Then three days later it happen again! I was talking to another social worker and we got talking about kids and allergies and then auto immune diseases. Well it seemed weird not to tell her after this whole detailed conversation so out it came. . . so now two people know at my new job and I'm ok with that.

Disclosing to clients is a whole other story and that won't be happening. I didn't tell my clients at the adoption agency and I do not plan to tell patients. As a social worker when I am helping a client or patient with their problem I do not feel like it is appropriate to talk about me. Of course there are times when disclosure can be really helpful to a client in some situations.

So I made it. Made it through my first week of work (did I mention that it was a four day work week and I left early everyday? haha!) So far so good. I look forward to next week when I will go to a bunch of meetings and then hopefully see some clients.

I'm sure I will have some good stories to tell about my new job. . . .

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