March is Social Work Month!

Medical Social Work is a vital aspect of Reliable Hospice’s services. So much so, that even our Vice President of Operations, Shellee Amarillas, is herself a Medical Social Worker (MSW), and works to guide and support our social workers toward doing the most good for our patients.

Our hospice social workers and interns are the key to helping our patients and families feel comfortable, educated, and prepared. During March, we will be posting to honor these special team members, and their invaluable contributions to our hospice care family. We will also be posting resource videos to help our readers better understand the key role hospice social workers have in the success of the services we offer.

Social Worker Highlight: Krystal Hernandez

Krystal Hernandez has been a full time social worker at Reliable Hospice since 2015. We hope her answers in the below interview give you a peek into the compassion and care she puts into every part of her work.

1. What does a day or week in the life of a hospice social worker look like?

For a hospice social worker, every day is different, and often the schedule changes throughout the day/week due to the needs of our patients and families. Whether it be providing our patients/families with emotional support and grief or loss counseling, education on disease progression, connecting them to community resources, helping them navigate the hospice program, we do what we can to help lessen the burdens our patients and families are going through.

2. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about hospice social work?

The most rewarding thing about hospice social work is being able to be a support for patients and families during one of the most difficult times in their lives. It’s showing patients that even though they are dying, they matter, and we truly care about the quality of life they have in the end.

3. What’s a special memory for you during your time at Reliable Hospice?

A special memory for me was when we did a Veteran’s Pinning Ceremony for one of our patients, who recently passed this week. To look back and think about the joy and appreciation in our patient’s face during that ceremony was priceless. Now that he is gone, I’m so glad that we were all able to enjoy the moment with him and his family. It was truly a moment of giving back, and he was a special man.

4. What would you want the community to know about hospice care and hospice social work?

I want the community to know about what hospice care really is and debunk the myths those have. There are so many out there who have a different idea about what hospice is, and don’t take advantage of the benefits our team could really provide for them. In hospice we truly start where the patient and family are and have an individualized plan of care for all those who we work with.

5. Why did you choose hospice as a career?

Honestly, hospice was never something I saw myself doing in my career, but after stepping in for a friend while she was on maternity leave, I instantly fell in love with it. To be able to provide comfort and dignity to those at the end of their life is a blessing. I also feel that working for Reliable and the team we have, has even more so kept me continuing to work in hospice. I feel blessed to be a part of a team that gives themselves to their work, respects our patients/families, and above all, honors life.

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