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Student Spotlights

Lori: Family Life

Lori Gifford had the chance to be a social work intern and work alongside the program director at Stonehenge. With social work comes family drama, but Lori learned how to navigate that tricky route!

What was your experience?

I worked directly with the Social Work Director of an organization called Stonehenge. I attended morning interdisciplinary meetings. I conducted social history interviews with patients. I charted information into the patients carts. I entered information onto the computer. I was present for meetings with patients and their families. I learned to schedule resources for patients for discharge from the facility. I advocated with patients needs. It was real social work!

What was the most useful thing you learned?

I learned how to educate individuals concerning their options and then allowing them the right to choose the option that best worked for them, regardless of whether I believed that they were making the 'best' choice. Also, I learned to avoid getting into the middle of family drama involving the patient.
I developed skills in collaboration, time management, advocacy, and interpersonal relationships. I also learned to be resilient and how to adapt to new circumstances when I was required to adjust to a new supervisor just before my internship ended. It gave me hands on experience in my chosen field. It also gave me an opportunity to feel the Spirit in caring for others. At one point feeling impressed to check on someone that ended up being a life saving situation. Yes. It was a wonderful learning opportunity. I learned a great deal, developed relationships, and expanded my understanding of the field that I intend to work in.

What made you choose this internship experience?

My courses were the reason I chose the internship that I did. Professor Nancy Madsen, was amazing in inspiring me to consider working with older adults. Also my End of Life course with Dr. Karen de la Cruz, was extremely helpful. I learned how to deal with individuals going through rough situations, advocating for them to have their needs met. I developed skills in collaboration, time management, advocacy, and interpersonal relationships. I also learned to be resilient and how to adapt to new circumstances when I was required to adjust to a new supervisor just before my internship ended.

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These are several of the individuals that I worked with at my internship. Front row: Erica Coleman (Admissions), Kayla Hendrickson (Patient Advocate), Amy Hatfield (Registered Nurse). Back row: Erica Vorhees (Social Worker and my direct supervisor), Carolyn LaTurner (Activities Director), and Lori Gifford (myself).