Meet Hospice Social Worker Tricia Wilson

Tricia Wilson

Choosing a career that revolves around the process of death might seem daunting. For EveryStep Hospice social worker Tricia Wilson, it as an opportunity to provide comfort and reassurance to patients and their families.

Tricia, who is with the EveryStep Hospice team in Council Bluffs, spent most of her early career in the Salt Lake City valley in Utah — first with a nonprofit hospice for 15 years and then a small private company for over four years. She earned her master’s degree in 1996 and in 1997, moved to Iowa to start her social work career with a Council Bluffs hospital’s hospice program.

In 2019, Tricia joined the EveryStep Hospice team in Council Bluffs. “Something I have always said about hospice is that no two days are ever the same. I think of that as a positive — it keeps you on your toes,” says Tricia. “There are lots of routine aspects of the work like making patient visits, completing documentation, advocating for patients, problem solving and finding resources for patients. However, every family is so unique and their needs differ as much as the many different dynamics in each family.”

Choosing social work as a career has challenges. Tricia says the cost of education to be a fully licensed independent social worker (LISW) like her can be daunting, especially when social work careers can be lower paying than other health care professions. Regardless, Tricia says the rewards outweigh the challenges.

“When people communicate that they have benefited from hospice, it is all worth it. Helping patients and families experience a good death with their emotional needs met is what it's all about.”

Tricia says helping patients and families through challenging situations also keeps her enthusiastic about her job. “It is rewarding to know they could meet their goal while feeling a sense of personal growth and independence. Helping people identify the strengths they have and seeing their goals achieved is the most rewarding.”

Tricia appreciates EveryStep’s leadership and their support of staff like her. She also says the ethics of EveryStep have kept her with the organization.

In her free time, Tricia and her husband of almost 24 years, Andy, stay busy with two active teenagers. Son Aaron is 17 years old and daughter Emily is 15. “Both have activities that keep us traveling, going to competitions and performances. Seeing them both thrive doing what they love is the greatest joy as a parent,” says Tricia. “I am grateful every day for the life we have.”

If you are interested in joining the EveryStep team, click here. If you or someone you know needs care or support, complete the confidential "Find Care" form here. The form sends a message to EveryStep staff who then follow up with a phone call. It's a great way to start a conversation and get answers with no cost or commitment. EveryStep can connect the individual to its own programs and services that may be helpful, as well as services offered by other organizations and providers in the community.