In honor of National Social Work Month we took a few minutes to talk with Angela Hospice’s Director of Social Work and Bereavement, Rebecca DeRaud, to learn why this team works so well together, what it’s been like to watch them grow, and more. Check it out!
Sixteen years this June.
How many social workers were here when you started?
There were three. There’s one remaining from then, besides me, and now there are 20 of us all together.
What’s it been like to see that growth over the years?
It’s been a phenomenal experience. In many ways I feel like we’re all growing up together. We’ve all watched each other and we’ve all helped each other become better clinicians, further each other’s professional development, and definitely personal development too.
What makes an Angela Hospice social worker unique?
What I think makes them unique is that they have excellent clinical skills and the interpersonal ability to be compassionate, have empathy, and really try to just be present with each patient. They’re not judgmental and they treat every patient as if they are their only patient.
Since it is National Social Work month if they were in front of you right now what would you want to say to them?
I would want to thank them for allowing me to be a part of such a unique, diverse, and professional team. To thank them for everything I’ve learned from each and every one of them, for what we have accomplished as a team; and that I respect that we are all very different and yet we share our core values. Angela Hospice would not be what it is today if it weren’t for our social workers.
Why do you think there’s such longevity with the social workers?
I think it is because for many of us, we look to each other for guidance and support. Even though our jobs on a day-to-day basis are so difficult having colleagues that you can de-brief with helps us not feel isolated or alone. They always have someone who will hear and help advise them. We all love what we’re doing and we don’t burn out because we’re constantly checking in with each other and de-briefing and helping our peers when we’re having rough times. That’s what I think makes our team flow so smoothly.
Why do you think this group works so well together?
I would say that the people are here not just because it’s a job but because it’s a mission and a part of who they are as people. I think that they’re here because they respect what we do. They believe in what we do and know that we’re a very unique environment. While there are a lot of different organizations out there we are our own entity that’s very special.
It’s not just our department that’s so cohesive, it’s really our organization. We’re grateful to our team members no matter what department they’re in, whether it’s something based here or out in the clinical area. I know on behalf of all the social workers we’re very grateful to be a part of this supreme organization. I really feel that way.
I’m grateful for the leadership structure because we’re really unique in that we have bereavement…I feel like the top has to value us in order to have that.