Friday, December 31, 2010

Pediatric vs. Hospice Social Work

Can you believe I've been at this for 6 months now? Sometimes my pediatric hem/onc world doesn't seem that far from what I used to do in hospice. And yet, there are some noticeable differences!

In hospice, most of my patients were over 70 yo, with a few being in the 40-69 range. I rarely had a pediatric patient. In pediatrics, all my patients are about 20 yo and younger.

In hospice, I saw a variety of diagnoses. In pediatrics, my specialities are brain tumors, sickle cell, and benign hematology. Whereas in hospice, I knew a little about a lot, in peds, I know a lot about a little.

In hospice, my desk was my dining room table and whatever I could fit in the trunk of my car. In pediatrics, I share an office with a view. I have my own desk. I have two drawers of a large filing cabinet. Space, space, space!

In hospice, I was on the road all day doing home visits. I had the largest territory of the social workers so I did a lot of driving. In pediatrics, I come to work in the morning and I stay in the same place. I vary between the clinic and the hospital. It's really nice to be in the same place.

In hospice, I worked primarily with the patient and their family. In pediatrics, that's still true. The older the patient, the more I'll work directly with them, instead of just their parents.

In hospice, I had a cell phone, a laptop, and landline voicemail. In pediatrics, I have a pager, landline phone and voicemail, and a desktop computer.

In hospice, I was on-call an average 72 hours per month over a weekend. We didn't get any time off for being on-call. In pediatrics, I have one day and one night call per month and 2 or 3 weekends per year, plus a rotating holiday every few years. We get one post-call day after weekend call or holiday call.

In hospice, I provided emotional support, counseling, and prebereavement. In pediatrics, I still do the same thing!

In hospice, I had to all sorts of case management. In pediatrics, we have case managers that take care of that stuff. I still educate families about resources, however.

In hospice, I worked with 3 other social workers. In pediatrics, I work with a billion! (Maybe not quite that many but the support is phenomenal.)

There are many more comparisons I could make but I think you've got the picture!

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