Sunday, June 20, 2010


Tomorrow is my first day of orientation.  It's been nice to have a month off- I highly recommend it to everyone!  I received my orientation schedule for the next two weeks and it's pretty overwhelming.  Lots and lots of meetings, some at the hospital and some off-site.  I just hope I don't get lost too often!  There are the usual nerves associated with starting anything new.  I hope to feel a little better about things once I'm actually there and start meeting some of my coworkers.  I will certainly keep you all posted as I get a handle on the specifics of what my role will be.  I've talked to or emailed with a few friends or online acquaintances that have experienced pediatric cancer or some other disease to find out if they utilized the social worker and get a sense of what things were helpful or what things were not.  One thing I didn't think to ask anyone that occurred to me yesterday is how to address my previous experience, if it comes up.  If a parent asks me what I was doing before I started working there, I can only imagine how they would respond to the word "hospice."  Especially as pediatric hospice may be an outcome for their child someday.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I don't want to gloss over my background but I also don't want to unintentionally send out adverse messages either.  Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Could you just say that you worked primarily with geriatric patients and their families and that you counseled children and teens who had lost parents?

SW said...

Why can't you just say medical social work, and that you've worked with all ages? It makes you sound experienced without frightening anybody off...

karen gerstenberger said...

Going from working in Hospice to Pediatric Social Work doesn't sound threatening, to me, as a parent. People will likely assume what they will, and may even attach a story to your move, in their own minds.
Nowadays, the term for palliative care (at least, where I hang out) is "advanced care," and that seems to include hospice, if needed. So you might find a term in there that you are comfortable with. Maybe your advanced care team would have some ideas.
I pray that your first day was a good one. May God bless your work, your patients and their families.

Anonymous said...

I currently work as a Chaplain (Pastoral Counselor) with Hospice patients. You are right - people just don't like that word "hospice". If you are asked what you did before say something like: "I worked with the seriously ill person -- in the homecare setting."
Oh and Leigh... Congratulations!
On your move, your new job, and just everything. It was "meant to be".
Peace to you.