With his more than 20 years of experience as a social worker in an inner city hospital (Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York), author Cesar M. Garces Carranza introduces readers to the role of his chosen profession in the ever-changing medical field. His focus, although not mentioned in the title, is the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), the setting in which readers come to assume the author is the most comfortable and has had the most experience, although there are brief mentions of other settings, such as the Medical-Surgical Unit.
The book has six chapters, with the first chapter detailing the history of social work, followed by chapters on interventions, communication techniques, theory, and discharge planning. A beginning social worker might find some of the chapters’ contents relevant. For example, there are references scattered throughout regarding intervention techniques that clinicians might find useful in dealing with patients and families in a hospital setting. (Dementia patients and their families get special attention in one chapter.)
However, Dr. Carranza chooses to intersperse the social work background and history chapters within the context of the clinically and theoretically based examples of medical social work. This results in a somewhat-fragmented dialogue, compelling readers to adjust frequently to a new thought or direction introduced by the author. The content is also very difficult to follow due to poor grammar, sentence structure and punctuation.
Overall, readers are likely to find themselves frustrated by the author’s style of communication. He clearly has much experience in this field and enormous amounts of empathy for his patients and their families, but an exhaustive sifting through the book is necessary in order to discover these hidden gems of knowledge.
Also available as an ebook.