“It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
When I read this quote, it reminds me of the staff at Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care and how wonderful my experience as a hospice social work intern has been with them thus far. But before I dive into detail about my hospice internship experience, let’s start with the basics.
We all know that an internship – also known as field education – is the key component to most fields of study for an individual to meet the qualifications for that field. The purpose of an internship is to provide students with the opportunity to connect and integrate theory and practice in real-world settings.
As a social work student at the University of Southern California’s Virtual Academic Center (VAC), we are required to complete a three-semester-long field practicum. Initially, I was very nervous, because I had heard horror stories from other classmates who did not like their field placement and had to change internship placement locations several times. I was also nervous because I was in not in charge of choosing where I wanted to be.
However, those fears were quickly laid to rest when my placement specialist at USC connected me with Crossroads. I reached out to the Director of Support Services at Crossroads about two months before the start of the spring semester and set-up an interview with them.
During my hospice internship interview, I learned about all the wonderful services that Crossroads provides to their patients and families and how the entire staff works together as a team!
After my interview, I felt confident that this could be a place where I could learn the responsibilities of a social worker. I knew that this was the right placement for me. I immediately contacted my field placement specialist and informed her of my wonderful experience with my interview and that I wanted Crossroads to be my placement for the next three semesters.
My Hospice Internship Experience
I have worked in the healthcare field for a total of 11 years and I have some experience with hospice care, but not from this perspective. I can say that in all my experience with various hospice organizations, Crossroads sets the standard for how a hospice organization should run. From the unique programs of Crossroads Hospice to their motto, “Expect more from us. We do,” Crossroads goes above and beyond to service their patients and families.
My experience as a hospice intern so far has far exceeded my expectations. Not only am I able to take what I have been learning in class and apply it to my field practice. I have also had the opportunity to shadow all other departments within the agency. I believe this is important because it allows me to see what each team member brings to the whole picture and how the whole team works together to make sure they are providing the best services possible.
I have noticed that everyone at Crossroads takes their roles incredibly seriously, and they treat their patients with the utmost respect and dignity. I have had the pleasure of partaking in several Gift of a Day events, sing-alongs with chaplains, attending interdisciplinary group meetings, witnessing General In-Patient admissions and the extubation process, provide Evenmore Care for a patient, and participate in presentations to senior centers and support groups.
I am very fortunate to have this hospice internship opportunity with Crossroads and I am learning more than I could have ever expected. I am very proud to work with this organization and thankful that they all welcome me with open arms. I do not feel like a social work intern, I feel more like a team member!
Chanelle Mayo, M.S.
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care
Social Work Intern
If you are interested in applying for an internship with Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, please call 1-888-564-3405 to speak with a Volunteer Manager.
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