What it's Like to be an EveryStep Hospice Social Worker: Robert Luga

It's all about helping people for EveryStep Hospice social worker Robert Luga.

For more than two years, Luga has worked to ensure his patients and their families in the Council Bluffs area experience quality support and compassion while in EveryStep’s care.

Each day, more than 680,000 social workers provide care and education to the country’s most vulnerable community members. That’s no different at EveryStep Hospice, where social workers spend their days assisting patients and their families to manage the ongoing challenges related to serious illness and advanced care needs.

At EveryStep Hospice (formerly Hospice with Heart), social workers provide emotional support and education to families and patients on a number of topics, including finances, caregiving, and end-of-life planning.

In recognition of National Professional Social Work Month, EveryStep highlights the difficult, but ultimately rewarding care, hospice social workers provide for Iowans.

Luga sees his profession as a privilege. He takes great pride in being able to assist people and their families to have more control over their lives and to improve their circumstances and fulfill their potential as human beings. 

“We assist people to make positive changes in their lives,” he says. “Social workers’ contributions into the care process makes a huge difference in people’s lives. As professionals we get involved when a person’s life is chaotic and they need our help.”

While there were many factors that attracted Luga to the social work profession, he made his decision as he was studying for his graduate degree and watching his father deal with diabetes and other illnesses.

"Having witness what he went through, I thought it would be good to help people who are struggling to cope with such issues," Luga recalls.

From helping families traverse the financial aspects of their care, to facilitating quality-of-life wishes for patients, EveryStep social workers like Luga are there to lend a helping hand.

Last year, Luga collaborated with the EveryStep Hospice volunteer coordinator on two quality-of-life projects that made a world of difference for patients and their families. In the first, the pair worked with volunteers to fix the damaged roof of a patient’s home, and the second involved constructing a wheelchair ramp at a patient’s home.

“These projects impacted positively on the patients and their families in terms of overcoming challenges they were facing,” Luga notes.

“Social work allows us to create positive change and have the greatest impact on people’s lives,” he says. “It is a profession that can be applied in many different circumstances, it’s international, and strives toward making the world a better place.” 

Want to make a difference in people’s lives and work for a mission-focused organization? Please visit our careers page.