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Teaching more than just the skills needed to do the job

Lois, Social Worker of 31 years, believes passionately in helping build the health care community of tomorrow.
“We have to remember, we were all students at one time, and if we don’t support them, we aren’t going to have anyone to take over for us down the road,” said Lois.

One such student is Barbara, who is in her second and final year within the Social Service Worker program at Georgian College’s Orangeville Campus. Barbara was fortunate enough to receive a much-coveted placement alongside Lois at our hospital.

Lois is used to having her phone ring off the hook with calls for placements from different colleges and universities. Some of that was halted due to the pandemic, but Lois is grateful that it was able to resume this year.

When reminiscing about Barbara’s placement, Lois shared that she is the only Social Worker on staff.  “I don’t have a department, I am the department,” Lois quipped with a laugh. “And she does it beautifully,” Barbara was quick to add.

According to Barbara, a day with Lois is a wonderful learning experience. Together, they make the daily rounds, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and empower patients to participate in local programs and resources when they are discharged.

“Lois will meet with the doctors, therapists, and charge nurses. She learns what has been happening with patients, what home care services they may require, whether they need a family meeting, and when they can be discharged. Observing Lois has helped me learn how to go through the process. I feel very privileged to be there,” said Barbara.

“Barbara has been a very mature student. She came to me with much experience already. She was a paralegal, is familiar with our documentation system, and has a wealth of knowledge working with the public,” added Lois.

The mutual respect between Barbara and Lois is clear as Barbara thoughtfully added, “Lois never stops being a Social Worker; she is always giving of herself, counselling and helping those around her. She has taught me to carry a positive attitude, and that is something I will always take with me.”

Barbara was able to glean a wealth of knowledge from Lois and our entire hospital team during her placement with us. We hope one day she too will pave the way for others to not only learn the skills needed to succeed but also to discover the importance of positivity especially during difficult times.

Photo caption: (left to right) Lois, Social Worker, with Barbara, Social Service Worker student who completed her placement at our hospital this past year.