Current Job Title:
Renal Social Worker
Describe your current job:
I give life! I work in a multidisciplinary team with physicians, nurses, dietitians, and technicians in helping patients to cope with the effects of kidney disease. I perform psychosocial evaluations of patient’s physical, social and emotional functioning as well as financial and family support.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part is seeing a patient receiving a kidney and having a successful transplant. Talking to people about death and dying can be a challenging, yet at the same time knowing that I can support them in the last part of their life journey can be very rewarding as well.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
I worked as a receptionist at an immediate care center within a general practice on the weekends while I was in college and it was incredibly helpful to work that closely with 10-15 different physicians. I was learning about numerous disorders and how to identify and treat them, names and functions of medications and when they are appropriate for use, and I was able to observe minor surgeries and procedures during my shifts. Being so close to the physicians helped with letters of recommendation and general advice for the future, and I felt more comfortable walking into my current role having such a wide medical knowledge base.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
The medical field is so competitive and everywhere wants experience. It's very tough to get a job offer right out of college without having significant experience in some type of medical field. The only reason I was offered my job is because of the experience I had gained through college, which was just from working part time. If you have weekends available for a part time job, take advantage of that and apply to general practitioner offices for a receptionist position. A general practitioner office or immediate care center is great exposure because they see so many different disorders and they are not confined to one type of disease. Shadow physicians, work as an emergency scribe if you can, volunteer at the hospital, expose yourself to the medical field as often and as much as you can. Once you start finding physicians that you are close with, it will be that much easier to receive letters of recommendation and to highlight the areas of medicine that you've been exposed to on your CV.