Filed under: hospital social work, job, MSW | Tags: job satisfaction, office space
I find it interesting that I should be talking about job satisfaction in the post that follows my recent post about the dangerous nature of social work. In some ways, though, I guess they are interlinked. Certainly if you feel you are at risk of bodily harm or death while at work, you may not be exactly thrilled to go to work. I know that’s not the case for every line of work, but my guess is that it would be the case for most social workers.
At my place of employment, we recently had a significant improvement in where our department is housed. We are now actually in the hospital. No more walking in the rain from my car to my office…and then from my office to the hospital. And then in reverse at the end of the day.
At the same time that we were moving, I was experiencing one of the more difficult weeks I have experienced in a while. I won’t go into detail…but very sad cases, difficult doctors, and a situation that could draw negative community response.
What surprised me was that I was able to cope much better than I have in the past. I don’t know if I’m still high on endorphins released when I was able to sit down at my new desk and look out a big window. Or whether simply having a private** space to go to during the day to make phone calls or document was a calming influence.
Nevertheless, in spite of difficult circumstances, I was happier in my job than I have been in the past few months. I just wonder how long the new office will boost those numbers??
**By private, I mean being able to separate myself from doctors and nurses and other medical staff. I share my office with three other social workers.
Filed under: job, MSW, social work, social work practice | Tags: assault, murder, threats, violence
In my day to day dealings with patients, I don’t consider my job dangerous. Maybe it’s because, generally speaking, I’m surrounded by people as I work with clients. Nurses and physical therapists are coming in and out. Other patients’ family members are milling around. Help is always seemingly close at hand. That’s not to say that I’m not cautious. I choose my position in the room so that my exit isn’t blocked. I generally don’t sit within an arm’s reach of a patient.
We’ve had a couple of situations recently that have reminded me of how dangerous the practice of social work can be and that danger can reach out to me in my outside life. This has been very difficult for my husband. While my father-in-law isn’t an MSW, he worked for several years as an Adult Protective Services worker for the state. When he was assaulted in the parking lot outside of his workplace by the son of a woman who he had to remove from her home (I won’t go into details but it was a pretty horrific situation), that was when he decided to leave social services and become a contractor and cabinet builder.
Here are a few more examples of violence perpetrated upon social workers…in West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Kentucky. You can also go here if you would like a more personal image of violence against social workers. I’m sure there are other cases…these were the ones I found in a quick Google search.
It’s a bit sobering to think of working in a job where you may come across a person who could end up killing you or severely injuring you. It doesn’t change my commitment to the work I do, but it does make me think about the type of jobs I would take in the field now and in the future. How does the threat of violence affect your practice of social work? Or does it affect it at all?
Filed under: alternative media, blogging, hospital social work, social work, social work practice, unusual occurrences | Tags: New Year's, quotes, wackiness
I have been pondering what to blog about on New Year’s Eve…I’ve decided to do a retrospective on some of the wacky things I’ve heard and/or overheard while working at the hospital….so here it goes…
1. “Boy, it’s a good thing I’m not very responsible otherwise I would have gotten around to canceling my insurance.”
2. “Amy, the social worker, please call the ICU.”
3. “I’ve just pissed myself, can you come back later?”
4. “Liquid medicine…I’m going to make a million dollars with that idea!”
5. Dr. Fancy White Coat – “What do you call that mini-boot camp we send old people to?” Me- “A nursing home.”
6. “Please get security and go to the patient’s car and destroy their drug stash.”
7. “Thanks.” To find out why this is a wacky quote, you’ll have to read this.
8. Them, “You’ve got to go AnyTown to my bank for me, then I’ll go to the psychiatric placement!” Me, “I can’t go to AnyTown for you.” Them, “Why would you go to AnyTown?”
9. “Suicide is about the death of time and responsibility.”
I was hoping this could be like a top ten. I was hoping it would be a little like David Letterman…I guess I just will have to let you know that two of my fellow social work bloggers have marked the New Year with posts about the past year. So, check out Fighting Monsters and Social Worker 24/7!