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Celebrating Social Work Month
March 2007

Nursing Home Social Workers throughout Massachusetts were asked to respond to three questions in celebration of Social Work month. Here are a few of their responses.

The reason(s) we are a profession of value to the residents and family members we serve is... We are often their "last line of defense" in the maze we call health care, and we love them and have their best interest at heart. (Gina Zecco, University Commons)

We are a bridge between the medical and emotional side of a resident. Often times nurses and rehab. staff speak in medical terms, and treat people as a diagnostic task to be completed. The social worker's role is to clarify terms and help the resident and family express their needs or concerns. (Michele Clark, Wedgemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center)

We really listen to what residents, patients, and families want and advocate for them. (Donna Vachon, Baypointe Nursing Center)

We are trained to differentiate between our wishes for a patient and their own goals and desires. (Marianne Tenney, Life Care Center of Plymouth).

We are of value because:
V oice (for our patients)
A dvocate
L istener
U nderstanding
E ffect a difference.
(Mary Kirk, EPOCH of Brewster)

Social workers provide a conduit to residents in addressing their needs which can be social, spiritual, psychological, philosophical, budgetary, economic. (Paul Campana, Serenity Hill)
Social workers should be celebrated because... We can see beyond the medical aspects of a resident. We can bring to light that this "diagnosis" is a real person, who's afraid, feels things and is really at the mercy of the staff. We help other staff put themselves in the residents' position. ( Michele Clark, Wedgemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center)

They are Special ! (Lisa Chown, Oak Hill)

Social workers have a heart and are good listeners. (Donna Vachon, Baypointe Nursing Center)

They champion the underdog. (Marianne Tenney, Life Care Center of Plymouth)

We are the communicators. We are the "glue" that attempts to put our patients and families back together emotionally. (Mary Kirk, EPOCH of Brewster)

They provide a service to residents in both major and minor ways while reducing their patients sadness and discontent. Social workers insure that all residents rights are adhered to and granted especially highlighted in the area of respect and dignity. (Paul Campana, Serenity Hill)
I enjoy being a social worker because... It is the most fulfilling feeling when one of my residents looks at me with a smile and/or takes my hand. For me being a Social Worker wasn't a choice I made It picked me! and I am honored to be in the profession. (Gina Zecco, University Commons)

I enjoy meeting with patients and their families. (Marianne Tenney, Life Care Center of Plymouth).

I feel like I can and do make a difference in a residents life. I can help families come to terms with difficult situations. Sometimes the small things we do make a huge impact on a resident.(Michele Clark, Wedgemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center).

I love working with the elders and their families providing support(Lisa Chown, Oak Hill)

I enjoy providing others the opportunity to vent their feelings andI enjoy being a problem solver if possible. (Donna Vachon, Baypointe Nursing Center).

I really feel I make a difference in the life of my residents, and that staff see this resident in a different light through team work.(Mary Kirk, EPOCH of Brewster).

Social workers are granted the independence to meet residents needs in both realistic and creative means. Job is rewarding because there is a role to both manage and inspire residents to reach their potential despite their limitations. Social workers have the opportunity to affect changes of behavior in a positive mode. (Paul Campana, Serenity Hill).


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