Social Work Exam Question: Psych Ward Social Worker

hospital Here's a quick, free exam-style question. A little practice, outside of our full-length practice tests, to get you ever-more prepared for the licensing exam.

A psychiatric hospital social worker tells her supervisor she's been feeling irritable, exhausted, restless at night, and unsure of her ability to do her job anymore. She's thinking of quitting. The supervisor suggests a new hobby, some exercise, and time with friends. How is the supervisor most likely conceptualizing the social worker's complaints?

A) As depression.

B) As adjustment disorder.

C) As compassion fatigue.

D) As acute stress disorder.

What do you think?

This one's pretty easily narrowed down. Does the supervisor think that the social worker has clinically significant, diagnosable symptoms? If so, you have three choices. Adjustment disorder is probably the best of those. But you're not given symptom duration or severity. So a diagnosis is pretty much not doable here.

That leaves one answer standing. The one that's not in the DSM. C, compassion fatigue.

Compassion fatigue is well-known to most front-line social workers. This article in Good Therapy outlines the most common causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Among the causes, encountering extremes at work (danger, suicide, death, trauma). A psych ward social worker is likely to be exposed to all of the above.

Symptoms of compassion fatigue look a lot like depression: low mood, sleep difficulty, weight loss, fatigue, self-doubt.

How do you remedy the symptoms? The first approach is the one not often available to social workers: reduce work stress. If that's not possible, everything you'd recommend to a depressive client is likely to be helpful. Sleep, meditate, eat better, take up a hobby, find social support.

For a social worker aiming to pass the social work licensing exam, all those helpful tools can get squeezed out. Please remember to breathe and take care of yourself as you're exam prepping. The work you do and will do is important. Take care of yourself!

And good luck on the exam!

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Quiz: Erikson Stages

Erik_EriksonNot all exam prep has to be realistic, vignette-style questions like SWTP's practice tests. Sometimes you just want to cram in info. We'll do quizzes now and then to help you do just that.

Here, for starters, is a quick, simple quiz about Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development. Listed are the conflicts for each stage, the virtue associated with each stage (which you're not getting quizzed on because those are very unlikely to show up on the licensing exam). Underneath each stage is the expected age range during which it will occur.

Your job is simple: fill in the blank.

Trust vs. _____________
0 - 1½

__________ vs. Shame
1½ - 3

Initiative vs. __________
3 - 5

Industry vs. Inferiority
Age __________

Identity vs. Role Confusion
Age __________

Intimacy vs. __________
18 - 40

__________ vs. Stagnation
40 - 65

__________ vs. Despair

How'd you do?

Answer in comments or in this article from Simply Psychology, which will shower you with additional details.

Happy studying, happy psychosocial developing, and good luck with the exam!

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I wouldn't have passed my exam without SWTP!

Aliyyah's exam celebration cupcakeJust wanted to thank you for providing such great study material! I wouldn't have passed my exam without SWTP!

Congratulations, Aliyyah!

Pictured: the celebratory cupcake Aliyyah enjoyed after passing.

How will you celebrate when you pass the exam? Give it some thought. It's an achievement well worth marking. Maybe with friend, food, fun, or just simple jumping up and down screaming.

That cupcake does look good.

Get started on the path to your personal ASWB-exam-passing cupcake by choosing exams here. Happy studying!

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“I never would have passed without this test prep!”

maya passed the social work examI passed the first time I took this exam…this exam was extremely challenging, and I never would have passed without this test prep!

Congratulations, Maya!

Yep, this exam is no breeze. The best to way to get prepared is practice, practice, practice. So that's what we've got. Five complete, 170-question practice tests plus two booster packs-one DSM and one Ethics. With the complete bundle (our best deal), you get hundreds upon hundreds of practice questions, complete with thorough rationales and suggested study links. With realistic practice tests, you learn exam content and exam process (e.g., pacing, focus, keeping calm) at the same time.

Congratulations again to Maya and all recently licensed social workers.

You're next!

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Election-Action Coupon: 50% Social Work Practice Test Savings

capitol The midterm elections are nearing. Yes, you're busy with work and with exam prep and with life. But, as many are saying, this is likely to be the most consequential election of your lifetime. If there ever were a time to take political action, it's now.

Need extra incentive? Here it is: send us evidence of your election action (phone banking, canvassing, registering voters, postcarding, etc.) and we'll send you a coupon that will save you FIFTY PERCENT on SWTP exams and exam bundles. That's as big a coupon as we've ever issued.

Need incentive on top of that? Here's the NASW Code of Ethics to further encourage your volunteer efforts:

6.04 Social and Political Action

(a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.

(b) Social workers should act to expand choice and opportunity for all people, with special regard for vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people and groups.

(c) Social workers should promote conditions that encourage respect for cultural and social diversity within the United States and globally. Social workers should promote policies and practices that demonstrate respect for difference, support the expansion of cultural knowledge and resources, advocate for programs and institutions that demonstrate cultural competence, and promote policies that safeguard the rights of and confirm equity and social justice for all people.

(d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical ability.

Need ideas about where to go and what to do? Just write us. Regardless of your politics, we've got suggestions. 

And meanwhile, happy studying. Good luck on the exam!