7 Days

Last Friday: Served as translator (English/Spanish) for patient complaint to administration meeting.  The person I was translating for spoke 2 sentences total…at the end of a 2 hour meeting.

Next, I went down to emergency department to speak to a pregnant woman who may be referred to our Maternal Addiction Treatment (MAT) Program. Me (at the bedside): “Hi, I know you’ve had a rough last few hours…I’m here to talk to you about treatment and a way to recovery.”  Patient: “Can you come back? I feel like shit and I have to go to the bathroom.”  I still did my behind the scenes thing….coordinating with the psychparmacologist, the other half of the MAT dyad to review the case, get the labs and meds she needs ordered, arranging for an inpatient bed, informing ER doc & psychiatrist of status, getting OB online.  If it wasn’t for my MAT partner who kept checking her chart and coordinating care with MD and nursing staff, I wouldn’t think of her again until Tuesday.  Once she got admitted to the unit, reports say she was irritable, uncooperative and refused OB monitoring.

Continue reading

On Building a Social Work Consciousness

My perspective on social work has been shaped by my work roles, the agencies where I have worked and primarily, the clients I have served.

My first real job after my Bachelor’s degree was a Head Start teacher. I learned from 3 and 4 year olds that I could not teach if I couldn’t connect with and engage each child in my class. I learned to create an environment of collaboration so my classroom was supportive and fun. The Head Start model also includes the concept of “shared governance.” I learned from the parents–housekeepers, migrant farmworkers, people living in deep poverty–how to organize, lead and create a sense of community.

Continue reading