As a social work study, I can not even express how much HIPPA is stressed in the classroom and in our internships. HIPPA though created with a good purpose has closed so many doors to the service industry. Today, as I walked through the halls of the hospital in Santiago, I could not help but cringe at the numerous HIPPA violations. The patients names, bed numbers, and room numbers posted for everyone to see, the freedom we had to enter every area of the hospital without being questioned, and the shared knowledge of the patient we were seeing by his roommate’s family.
When I shadowed a social worker at CONANI I was surprised at my immediate access to counseling sessions and client information simply because I said I was a student studying social work. These HIPPA violations in the states would certainly lead to law suits and major issues. However, people here care about each other and are part of communities that care for each other. A HIPPA law here would be laughed at and never followed. They want their information to be shared and to be passed on for prayer and support during difficult times. In the states people don’t want their problems, issues, and weaknesses publicized. They isolate themselves, especially when they need the most support. They don’t want people to know they need help for fear it may make them seem insufficient and weak. HIPPA only seems to contribute to this mind set that no one needs to know my problems…including my own parents after I turn 18.
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