March 1 kicks off Social Worker Month at UofL Health and across the nation! Did you know there are more than 30 social workers at UofL Health and nearly 800,000 social workers in the United States? That is something to celebrate!
Social Worker Month is promoted by the National Association of Social Work (NASW). In light of COVID-19 and all of the past events of 2020, the theme this year is “Social workers are essential.” This theme was chosen to highlight the contributions of social workers, especially during the pandemic. The goal of this month is to highlight how essential social workers are and the hard work they put in every day to ensure patients feel safe, understood and valued during their experience with UofL Health.
Social workers can be found throughout the hospital, meeting with patients and their families to ensure any barriers or social dilemmas are addressed, connecting patients with community resources and advocating for the needs of patients. Social workers operate with selfless acts of passion for the greater good of the person they are serving.
During Social Worker month, you can expect a more prominent presence from the social workers within your department, engaging events and fun facts to help learn more about the role of a social worker.
This week holds an opportunity for you to meet social workers at the Daisy Table in UofL Hospital (located by the elevators next to the cafeteria) and pick up a green ribbon to wear to show your support of social workers. The ribbon will be attached to an info card to provide some FAQs about social workers. By wearing the ribbon during the month of March, you are supporting your colleagues, social workers in the community and showing that they are essential to the UofL Health mission and vision.
There will be a new challenge to see how well you can think like a social worker. Team members within the Downtown Medical Campus area will be able to complete a survey via Survey Monkey located in the Downtown Medical Campus Facility newsletter. Participation is highly encouraged.
Whichever unit across all Downtown facilities has the most participation will win a donut party for their unit.
What is the role of a social worker and how are they utilized in the hospital setting? Social workers provide a broad range of services and work with several populations. Social workers are trained diversly to be of use to serve people of all backgrounds and their complex issues. Did you know that social workers are not the only mandated reporters in the hospital? (hint, this might be a clue for one of the questions!). Social workers are advocates for the patients and their families and work endlessly to ensure a positive outcome and provide necessary resources.
Join the social work team as we dedicate a full week to practicing self-care!
What is self-care? Most people think of self-care as pampering yourself with facials and massages, but there is more to self-care than just making yourself feel better physically. Self-care has several components: mental, physical, social, spiritual and emotional. Each area needs attention from time to time to create balance in one’s life. If one area experiences neglect, it can affect the other areas and make you feel “off.” Some examples of self-care are exercise, meditating, creating art, religious or spiritual involvement, enjoying nature and having healthy relationships. Self-care doesn’t have to be a long process or time-consuming; you can take a mindful minute just to take a few deep breaths sitting at your desk to help clear your head.
Check out this video of Kay Sanders, medical social worker, talking about self-care and how you can implement it in your daily routine!
This week is all about boundaries. As professionals in the helping field, it can be difficult to find an appropriate balance in life, especially amid a pandemic. As professionals, we are expected to work within professional and ethical standards. However, when we do not establish appropriate boundaries between our careers or personal life. We create boundary issues that hinder our ability to act professionally.
Boundaries were created to define differences, expectations and limitations. As we continue to do essential work during this pandemic, the challenge this week is for you to re-evaluate your boundaries and assess how they are working in your best interest or what may need to be tweaked. Just like self-care, boundaries are meaningful to your mental health. Examples of setting boundaries can be as simple as using the word “no” as a complete sentence, practicing with your friends and family first and maintaining honesty with yourself and others.
Check out this blog, written by Clarissa Lightsy, MSW, CSW, certified social worker for the Care Coordination department at UofL Hospital, about how to maintain a positive work-life balance.
Help celebrate the close of Social Work Month by donating to the clothing closet! Many patients we serve are experiencing homelessness or have their clothing cut off upon arrival to UofL Hospital. Rather than discharge these patients in paper scrubs, we would like to discharge them with proper seasonal clothing.
Please consider combing through your closets and donating new and/or gently used items. Due to limited space and a high need for specific items, we are only able to accept these types of items:
- T-shirts (Adult S-3XL)
- Jackets/coats (Adult S-3XL)
- Sweatpants/leggings (Adult S-3XL)
- Sweatshirts (Adult S-3XL)
- Socks/underwear/sports bras (all sizes)
The closet is in extreme need of undergarments including underwear (all sizes), sports bras (all sizes), socks and extended sizes. We will only be able to accept newly purchased undergarments for sanitary reasons. We are also accepting travel size bottles of shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes as well.
The clothing drive will begin on Monday, March 29 and run through Friday, April 2. Items can be dropped off between 7 a.m.-11 a.m. at the following UofL Hospital locations:
- March 29 – Glass Room
- March 30 – Metro Conference Room
- March 31 – Glass Room
- April 1 – Glass Room
- April 2 – Glass Room
If you would like to donate but are unable during these times, please contact Latasha Richard, SAFE services social worker at 270-304-7522.
Social workers often are the unsung heroes, but they play an essential role in helping people from all walks of life and backgrounds to live life to the fullest. During Social Work Month, we hope you will learn more about this selfless profession, say a kind word to the social workers in your lives and advocate for the profession and the populations they serve. Our social workers look forward to meeting new faces this month and sharing more about what we do!