A friend of mine was trying to encourage another fellow dialysis patient by indicating that he could probably work and dialyze since he was going in to social work/counseling profession. He mentioned that social work/counseling was “light duty” kind of work, to which I responded. . .
I beg to differ calling counseling/social work light duty. Perhaps physically but even then depending what clientele you are working with it can be physically and emotionally stressful. Now I say this having worked with different types of social workers in different types of settings and knowing some personally.
Granted if my only exposure to social work was Renal Social Workers I would tend to think it might be “light duty” that is until you get into the palliative care issues. I’m sure it takes a toll on our social workers when they do grief counseling with the families of patients who have past on. . . especially those who they have known and worked with for many years. I’m sure it is very stressful to work with a patient who has decided that they would rather not continue with dialysis and have to watch as they gradual and often painfully die.
Another example is counselors who work with foster care and have to take children away from families that can’t get it together. Probably the really stressful situations are not the blatant abusive cases but those where drug addicted parents are trying their hardest to get it together for their children but can’t so they lose their children forever.
On the flip side, that same counselor may have to take a child from her foster parents after she may have lived with them since birth because the birth parent appears to pass all the legal hurdles to get her children back. They pain of separation is nothing compared with knowing that child’s birth parents are not going to be able to hold up their end of the bargain and will have to be separated again from the child and this time most likely sent to different foster family. Breaking bonds over and over again until that child doesn’t know how to bond with anyone.
The counselor has to live with the fact that perhaps that child if they are lucky will deal with another counselor or sorts a parole officer in their future. I say lucky because that infers that the child survived potential abandonment, abuse, prostitution, gangs, homelessness, starvation.
Or a counselor who goes to remove a child from an abusive situation and is held against her will, scared to death that she may not walk back out the door she came in, trying to get her two way radio to work all the time trying to convince the child’s birth father that she is her best link for him ever seeing his son again.
Another example is when a counselor has to meet you at a restaurant parking lot to take away the baby that you thought would be your forever child because her birth mother changed her mind after she left the hospital. This example happened to my wife and I. I’m sure it was not a “light duty” day for the counselor/social worker.
Or perhaps the counselor needs to help a veteran of the Iraq war understand how to negotiate the rest of her life without her legs. He needs to help the soldier to get up out of bed when she does not see a reason for it. Again, no too light duty.
Or perhaps, your wife wakes up every morning thinking that her chronically ill husband will be dead leaving her alone after twenty years together to raise their 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter that they struggled so hard to have. A counselor may be the only person helping her to keep it together since her spouse is just struggling to stay alive and can’t begin to assuage her fears. Helping case after case like this all day must take a toll on the counselor/social worker.
I said to him, “I don’t mean to be a downer but all too often the hardest jobs in our society are the least paid and least respected and often put off as light duty.”
I think very highly of the counselor/social work profession and do not see it as [COLOR=#00ffff]light duty.[/COLOR]
Taken from Tasty Kidney Pie which can be found at: