Monday, February 28, 2011

Alumni Profile: Paula

The following is the first of what will hopefully be many alumni profiles.  If you're a graduate of AU social work and have a story we can share, please send it to AUSocialWork at

I am a graduate from the Ashland University Social Work Class of 1993.  

I was hired at Richland County Children Services Board following the completion of my practicum with them during my senior year at A.U.  I enjoyed working there as an intake worker, investigating situations where child abuse or neglect was suspected and felt it was a great way to start my career. 

I worked there for 2 years until I was offered a job at a local nursing home which for me meant the end of a long daily commute but a great opportunity to explore the social work field some more. This was a completely different age group to work with and my first exposure to social work in the medical field. 

I worked there for 2 years as well until I had my second child and decided to be a "stay at home mom" until they were both off to school fulltime.  I was then offered a position at our local hospital, where I have been employed for the past 10 years.  This has been a wonderful experience for me and I feel as though I have found the area in social work where my talents are best put to use.  

Similar to my position with child protective services, working in the hospital allows me to work with patients in the short term, quickly assessing each situation and then helping to develop plans to address each one.  I enjoy the assessment process, exploring the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living, their family/social support systems and also their living situations.  In any work day, my clients may range from an elderly patient seeking assistance in their home, to a pregnant teenager contemplating adoption, and then to a heroin addict seeking drug detox and rehabilitation.

 I find that discovering and understanding the dynamics involved each situation keep the job fresh and interesting.  Like the position I held at the nursing home, the hospital setting is within the medical field where I also find myself very interested.   My education from Ashland University did a wonderful job in preparing me for my career in social work.