Changes

It’s so hard to believe I’m nearly finished with the six week of the summer fellowships! I have a meeting schedule next week to discuss having a teen fitness, and adult strength training program in the fall on the west side. I’m also going to tour Gladden Community House’s summer program at some point next week. I’m looking forward to actually having a tour of Gladden Community House (settlement house, located in Franklinton), because I worked on a presentation this past spring semester that featured Gladden. My group members interviewed the director of Gladden’s food pantry, but I was unable to attend the meeting, so this will give me an opportunity to finally see how the organization operates and more about the community work they do.

This past Tuesday I was going to go to the Hilltop YMCA to pass out surveys while one of our west side programs was taking place there, but once I arrived at the Y with my box of goodie bags I quickly realized I didn’t actually have the surveys. At some point during the week I must have taken them out of the box and re-filed them away. I was so upset with myself that I had forgotten the very thing for my purpose to even be at the Hilltop YMCA. I can’t even describe in words how frustrated I was with my lack of preparedness, but as it turns out our program was cancelled, so I spoke with a few people about Cancer Support Community, passed out a few goodie bags. Luckily I can go to the program next month to pass out surveys and goodie bags. Everything always works out in the end.

Besides our move and trying to expand programming, CSC has also had to implement a new distress tool called CancerSupportSourceTM. By 2015 there will be a federal mandate requiring any agency working with cancer patients to conduct a distress screening on the person with cancer. Putting the tool into practice has meant a lot of changes have had to be made in long held procedures. It’s been interesting to be a part of the “committee” to bring about these changes. I will admit I haven’t had much input, but I have been a part of several meetings to figure out how to handle walk-ins and calls for the front desk. No matter how much you plan for new procedures things will arise that cause you to go back to the drawing board. It’s important to know that all plans should be flexible. As an outsider I’ve had the opportunity to hear how the front desk workers feel about these changes, and I’ve also heard how the clinical staff feels about the changes. We haven’t always been quite on the same page. From all my observations I realized how important it is for social workers to advocate for our profession.

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It was so nice for programming to resume this past week. It just made this week feel like a normal work week, and there were no longer any construction workers around. I had the opportunity to attend the Qi gong class which was interesting. I’ve never even heard of Qi gong or seen it practiced so this was a completely new experience for me. I also had the opportunity to see a little bit of the cancer smart cooking class. They had a garden theme party, so we had a floral arrangement demonstration. I had so much fun making a floral arrangement, and some of the participants even put flowers in my hair. I definitely left with a smile on my face and an arm full of flowers that night. Image

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