Peer Relationships and Social Work Practice in Canadian Hospitals
This masters’ thesis is a modest exploratory study which seeks to better understand social work peer relationships among front line workers in Canadian hospitals. The study utilized the qualitative research approach Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to determine how staff make sense of the impact of peer relationships on the delivery of social work services in hospitals. Three participants at hospitals in an urban city in Alberta were interviewed. The analysis yielded four themes: yearning for social work leadership, navigating peer relationships, contributing to professional development, and challenges of practicing social work in a medical model. It was found that participants actively sought out peer relationships and mobilized to support each other in the workplace. Social work peer relationships appear to be highly valuable to participants because they supported effective social work practice. A notable finding was that among participants, they may benefit from additional social work leadership in the hospitals.