March 29, 2019
What it's Like to be an EveryStep Hospice Social Worker: Katie Smith
Joining the Mount Pleasant EveryStep Hospice team as a social worker was a very personal decision for Katie Smith.
“After an experience with a loved one being on hospice, I wasn't sure this was an area of social work that I could do, but I quickly realized my passion and calling for hospice,” Smith notes.
In southeast Iowa, Smith has dedicated her time and energy the last nine years to ensuring patients and their families experience quality support and compassion while in the care of EveryStep Hospice (formerly HCI Hospice Care Services).
"There are many important and integral social work positions that serve multiple groups of people and promote psychosocial well-being, respect, integrity, and the importance of human relationships," Smith notes. "Social workers listen, advocate, and provide tools to help individuals be successful in their goals."
Smith says she’s proud to say she works for EveryStep Hospice, because it allows her to assist patients regardless of their ability to pay for hospice services and allows her team in Mount Pleasant the ability to grant final wishes and promote patients' quality-of-life in significant ways. Smith and other members of the EveryStep team visit patients in their homes throughout southeast Iowa.
“It is an honor to be invited into our patients’ and their families’ lives at such a personal time,” Smith said. “As a hospice social worker, I hope to have a positive impact on all of our patients and their families.”
From helping families traverse the financial aspects of their care, to facilitating quality-of-life wishes for patients, EveryStep social workers like Smith are there to lend a helping hand.
“These wishes can be life-changing for many of the people we care for,” Smith notes. “I still remember the first wish I granted nine years ago, helping a patient and his family to attend a Chicago Cubs game.”
But even the smaller quality-of-life wishes have a big impact on patients, said Smith. Recently she helped to arrange for an Elvis impersonator to serenade a hospice patient at a local nursing facility and coordinated a limo ride for a patient and her two sons during the holidays.
“I work with an amazing hospice team in Mount Pleasant,” she said. “We are here to help people live the last chapter of their lives, promote their comfort and quality of life when living with a life-limiting illness, and to support those most important to them every step of the way.”
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