Ode(s) to social workers
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager
I wanted to write something today to honor social workers because March is the month that we celebrate these fine human beings, and March is almost over. (I have no clue how that happened.) Anyway, I was all prepared to put pen to paper, or hands to keyboard, to write a general “ode” (which I still plan to do) but then I found out something about one of our social workers here at HPCCR that I feel deserves to be shared. But it works perfectly because this social worker is going to illustrate the theme of my general ode perfectly. Which is this: social workers are awesome.
Yep, they are truly wonderful people. Our social workers are our medical “thermometers”; they expertly gauge the mental vulnerability of our patients and families. They recognize when emotions are reaching the boiling point and they know how to bring them back to a reasonable 98.6 degrees.
Social workers know how to help. And if they can’t fix a problem themselves, they know who to call. They are masters at assessing a situation and realizing when treatment or counseling is needed.
Since social workers are part of a larger care team, they must have the ability to cooperate with others and effectively communicate their opinions. This might entail advocating for the patient, a member of the patient’s family, or even a family friend. At which point they must use their significant multi-tasking skills to wrestle with the unending paperwork and, at the same time, quickly engage the necessary counselor or therapist to help the person in need.
Social workers in the field of hospice embody a true blend of heart and mind. They possess the clinical knowledge needed for analytics and assessment and they draw on an endless well of compassion when building relationships with families moving full steam ahead toward heartbreaking loss.
Which brings me to the specific ode. I found out recently that one of our social workers, Emily Kennedy, will be leaving HPCCR because she is moving out of state. Emily has been with us for 13 years, and has spent at least ten of those years seeing patients at White Oak Manor, a skilled nursing facility in Charlotte.
Because of the outstanding care that she has shown the patients at White Oak Manor, the staff and administrators there held a surprise going-away party for Emily yesterday. This is rather unheard of, for many reasons. First of all, turnover is not infrequent in the healthcare industry. Let’s face it — shifts and hours are long, you have to be “on” all the time, and you are in constant demand. Not necessarily easy working conditions. So it’s not often (ok, it’s rare) that one social worker shows up weekly to a skilled nursing facility for ten years straight.
That being said, if Emily was unremarkable at her job, there would likely be no party. I mean, we don’t get celebrated for doing an average job, do we? (And if you do, I’d like to know where you work!) Emily has shown true devotion and genuine care for her patients at White Oak Manor. She will do anything she can to connect with a patient, to reach the person inside. What she has done there has been memorable. Emotional. Important.
The takeaway from all of this? Social workers deserve to be celebrated. They put their patients first. They excel at what they do. And this is their month. So, if you know any social workers, grab them and give them a big hug. And tell them they’re awesome. Because they are.
Thanks to Emily Kennedy for 13 years of outstanding service to HPCCR. Emily, you will be missed! And thank you to the staff and administrators of White Oak Manor for continuing to partner with us and for treating our staff members like family.hospice, Hospice Alternative Residence Team, long-term care, special events
This entry was posted on March 22, 2013 at 9:05 am and is filed under hospice, Hospice Alternative Residence Team, long-term care, special events. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments.comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.