Join the journey of a fairly recently graduated MSW social worker, navigating the expanse of hospice social work in the south, the ups and downs of graduate school, LCSW exam stress and excitement, and preparing for a future in macro social work practice

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Changes in the Air

I finally secured a field placement for the duration of my MSW program. Incidentally, did you know that “MSW” says the same thing when you turn the word upside down? I discovered that in moment of boredom at a church meeting and immediately had to text all of my MSW friends.

Anyway, I will be doing my field placement at a day treatment center in another rural town not far from me. My new boss at the hospice is being nice enough to let me work some crazy hours in my feeble attempt to be superwoman for the next year. So these days my day begins with early morning seminary (a religion class that I teach for high schoolers) at 6:30am and ends when I have completed 4 hours of internship and 7 hours of work. But then I have to make lesson plans and prepare for the next day.

Crazy? Yes. Is the elusive MSW degree worth it? I sure hope so. Will I find time to do my homework? I sure hope so. Can I do hard things? I think so. Will I slack off on writing this blog? Probably. Will I slack off on nearly every other aspect of my life that isn’t directly related to either my eternal salvation and/or my social working aspirations? Probably.

I’ve been wanting a dog lately, but something tells me that now is not the time due to the fact that I am never home. I didn’t see my turtle (Fluffy) all week. Good thing he is fairly low maintenance. I can’t handle a dog right now. Maybe I could get a fish. And another turtle.

So I am adjusting my hours at work to accommodate my field placement, but my caseload and other responsibilities will remain the same. Currently, our hospice program is small enough that it will be manageable, but as it picks up, it will definitely be very difficult. My boss who quit a few weeks ago decided to stay on in a different capacity. She will be our clinical coordinator (we’ve never had one before) and the director will be someone else. That “someone else” is thus far quite nice, reasonable, approachable, and fair. Most people are one or two of those qualities, but very few are all four. I’m excited about that.

Our hospice has been through a lot in the past few years. We’ve been through a lot in the few short months I’ve been a part of it. There have been a lot of trials and changes that we have weathered. We are still grieving the loss of some great people. Hopefully the changes we are making now will be positive.

When I was first deciding to move across the country, one of my friends asked me if I was really ready to be a professional. She said: “if you take a job like that, you will be a professional. Being a professional isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You have to deal with way more politics and other things that you might not want.” I thought she was probably right, but that I was ready for the challenge. Being that this is my first post-college job, this is my first time really dealing with office politics and such. It’s difficult. I’m not always a fan of being a grown-up. But I suppose that’s just the way is.

I’m curious about what office politics are like in other people’s jobs and lives. What other styles of officehood are out there?

1 remarks:

LeighSW said...

That is a very crazy schedule! I hope you're able to manage it all and have some time for yourself.

Office politics are probably the same from place to place. It's more about how you deal with it. At my last job, I decided I wasn't going to add to the Group Gripe sessions. If people started complaining about patients, the administration, our paychecks, whatever, I'd try to redirect the conversation. If that didn't work, I'd find an excuse to leave. Complaining about things you can't change only makes you more angry and helpless so I decided I wouldn't feed into it anymore. That helped me focus more on my work and helped me be slightly less bitter toward the administration. Granted, many things needed to change there (part of why I no longer work there) but my policy towards complaining is that if I'm not happy about something, I need to try to change it. If I can't change it and the higher ups are aware of my concerns, then I need to shut up instead of rehashing the same thing.

Now I'm blessed to work with a huge crew of social workers who are very supportive of one another. My new employer is pro-social work across the board. Things definitely aren't perfect and it didn't take long to see what everyone thinks about this person and that policy. But I'm still not feeding into any of it and that should keep my "new job" glow from fading for awhile. Hope that helps!

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