Field experience

I made a decision to begin my concentration during summer (June) as I felt, without having to attend to papers and classes, I would be able to gain a much richer experience and apply myself with greater measure. As at the conclusion of fall quarter, I’ve already clocked in over 500 hours during the concentrate year field experience.

I intern at Saint Joseph Hospital in the ER as a psychiatric evaluator conducting behavioral assessments for patients presenting with suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, and substance abuse issues. I have also piloted and facilitated a support group for patients with chronic obstructive respiratory disease.

My experience during my second year in the field has been wonderful. My supervisor is amazingly supportive. Our supervisions have been incredibly productive and I am honored to be a part of such a dedicated and supportive team. Undoubtedly, my experience at this field placement has been all the more richer by being part of a great team dynamic.

In addition to enhancing my skills at crisis management, facilitating a support group over an eight week period has allowed me the opportunity to dive deeper into the clinical process with patients/clients.

For all prospective and current social work students, the one piece of advice I feel most confident offering is when searching for field placements never overlook the group of people you will be working with. I would go so far as to say, the team dynamic is as if not more important than type of placement you choose. Having a supportive team will encourage you to push yourself further, which will enhance your self-efficacy.



Field Placements: They’re Not Always Perfect

I accepted a field internship with a local hospital in an organ transplant unit in April for this fall.  Just one week before the quarter started my supervisor called to inform me that she had taken a new career opportunity with an agency outside the hospital but that the hospital was committed to providing me with a placement.  Not wishing to find a new placement, I agreed to stay and begin the quarter with many unknowns.

As the quarter progressed, it became apparent that the new position wasn’t quite the experience I wanted and didn’t fit how I best learn.  After numerous meetings with my supervisors and the field liaision, I made the challenging decision to move on from the hospital to find a different opportunity for the Winter and Spring quarters. 

It’s ideal that field placements work well for both you and the supervisor but it’s important to remember that this is YOUR internship and you have to be getting out of it what you want.  The university preaches that we take control of our learning and I feel I did just that in this situation.  I’ve since found a new internship with a small hopsice organization and I’m hopeful it will be a better fit.  Either way, it’ll be up to me to own my learning in this new environment and advocate for my own needs as a student.