Providing necessary resources and unconditional support is one of the many reasons I became a hospice social worker. Working at Catholic Hospice alongside qualified doctors and nurses, as well as, compassionate chaplains and counselors has its perks too. Especially when the goal is to provide comfort care to someone who is terminally ill.
I have witnessed that patients and their family members are more intentional about the precious moments they share together during this difficult time. As a social worker, I tend to ensure that the family is mindful of the illness progression and its psychosocial impact while together we develop coping mechanisms. Through monthly visits and telehealth calls, I am able to establish rapport and actively address their concerns. In many cases, we are proactively meeting their needs through comprehensive needs assessments. These provisional measures help to provide supportive care.
Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain times, our patients and their families can continue to expect individualized care and a supportive presence. I pride myself in my ability to adapt to each family and their situation. I cannot cure the disease however, I can provide meaningful moments and lower anxieties through an integration of different techniques. In addition, I am a resource to provide additional psychosocial support through collaboration with external agencies.
I believe the work I do is important because everyone deserves continuity of quality care throughout their life. As a hospice social worker, I am grateful that I can actively follow their lead.
Ashley Ferguson, MSW- Broward Social Worker