I am an MSW student who will be graduating in August. My school focus has been in mental health working with children, but I am considering renal social work if I can find a position.
Although I lack experience in this area, I do have a pretty solid understanding of the dialysis process, various modes, transplant, renal diet, fluid restrictions, etc. I spent a little over nine years as a patient, during which I did a couple of years of PD before starting on hemo. I am currently 5+ years post-transplant. My question for this group is would I be better of revealing my history in an interview or would it be best to not mention it?
Consulted with the Clinic Manager of the dialysis unit that is my home clinic and she says yes to mention your medical background as she feels this will give you a good deal of insight into the dialysis field and you will have a unique perspective in seeing things from both sides
disclaimer my thoughts and no one else not no one not nohow
Thank you for taking time to research this and respond. My thoughts were that this would be seen in a positive light, but I could also see where an employer might not want to take the risks associated with having an employee with serious health problems.
A social worker on the National Kidney Foundation's Council of Nephrology Social Workers' listserv asked me to post this message to you.
I think it's wonderful that you are considering working with renal patients with your first-hand experience! In my opinion, you should share the information on interviews because your experience as a dialysis and transplant patient is a huge ASSET and will be a great tool when you work with patients. You want an employer who will similarly view this experience as an asset and someone who does not want to hire you after hearing about your own history does not deserve to have you!
An important thing to think about as well: it is crucial to fully think through what you will and will not share with patients and coworkers about your experience as a dialysis/transplant patient. As a social worker, boundaries are very important and if you don't think it through, you may end up, "in the moment", sharing more personal information with a patient than you intended or than is appropriate. If you clarify with yourself in advance, though, you will be better prepared to navigate this type of scenario.
Best of luck!!
Sarah Korenblit, LMSW
If you are comfortable sharing that into, I would share it! Rapport should never be underestimated, and in this example, it can only help you to guide your clients! Best of everything!
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