As a direct support professional and residential care facility intern I assisted clients with critical mental health diagnoses (schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Delusional Disorder, intellectual disabilities, etc.) in accomplishing daily tasks with the goal of being able to live independently in the future. I would work underneath a social worker whilst learning routes of the profession first-hand. I would encourage the clients use of their life and coping skills to ensure their own safety and personal growth. I also proceeded to do daily documentation of behavior and accompany clients to weekly therapeutic appointments to ensure full and honest cooperation with psychiatric and medical professionals. Lastly, during my shift I was in charge of management and administration of clients medications four times a day.
During my internship, my greatest accomplishment was fully deciding on what career path I wanted to take. At our age, its hard to fully grasp what you are passionate about and within my experience, I was able to soldify my desire to help my community through social work.
The greatest lesson I learned through my internship was the power of empathy. Within a society with many social issues, many issues can be solved through empathy and compassion for one another.
What advice would you give?
I would advise future students to always keep their options open. You never know what direction a certain job could take you and what new passions it could ignite. Make sure to keep you mind open to new possibilities and experiences at all times.