Social Workers' Month
Posted on March 25, 2021
I chose a career in medical social work after my brother and father battled cancer. I saw what an impact serious or terminal illness could have on the family system. People often need help and guidance during their journey. I wanted to help others the way my family was supported during those difficult times. I had worked in hospice and palliative care for 10 years and chose to come to Islands Hospice when they were restarting their Supportive Care program. I enjoy working with patients and families as they continue aggressive treatments and explore their care goals moving forward.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is meeting patients and families and learning what is most important to each of them. I meet the most amazing people who have impacted the community in positive ways. It is a privilege to join and support them at such a pivotal point in their lives.
What is the greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge is getting close to patients and families and then saying goodbye. Whether that be when the patient transfers to hospice or the 90 days of Supportive Care, they are exhausted, but they continue forward with their treatments. I learn and grow from each family and take those lessons with me as I continue my work.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in becoming a social worker for a hospice or long-term care setting?
I recommend volunteering with a hospice agency to get a feel for what hospice is all about. You would be surprised that hospice is much more about living life than it is about dying. Being able to sit at the bedside of someone who can teach you about history or share their life journey is such an honor. You won’t regret it.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the IH ohana or your community?
I appreciate the team I get to work alongside with every day. Our work can be hard and heavy at times, but sharing that experience with others makes it more manageable. The work we do makes a difference and I am lucky to work with others who share the same passion as me.