Entering my second year as a part-time graduate student, I knew I would have a busy schedule. My second year at school is really the second half of my foundation year in the Masters of Social Work program. Starting in January, I began to process of applying to internships that would meet the requirements of the program. I was dead set on getting into a school system because my dream job is being a school-based clinician. However, it became very evident after one interview and being told it wasn't for me that I needed to look elsewhere. It also didn't help that my field placement instructor refused to look into other schools for me. I interviewed at several different placement options and either didn't think it was for me or was told I wasn't a fit for their company/organization. It was heartbreaking because without an internship I would have to defer for a year.
My final opportunity came to me through a position I was incredibly apprehensive about. It was in case management, it required me to have a MHRT certification(which thankfully I already did) and it was in Behavioral Health and Home services. At my interview, the women interviewing me were excited about my certifications and my qualifications. Within a week, I heard back that I was being offered the internship position. I graciously accepted and decided that I needed to be happy that I had gotten an internship rather than being disappointed it wasn't where I wanted to be.
My first day at my internship was August 29th at Catholic Charities Support and Recovery Services on State Street in Portland, Maine. I sat down with my supervisor who explained to me exactly what my internship would entail. She explained that after my training at the end of the month I would be given my own limited caseload of 6-7 clients. I would be responsible for scheduling my own meetings with them. I would be responsible for calling them to remind them of appointments. I would be responsible for doing their Plan of Care every ninety days. It felt like a lot of responsibility compared to my job, but I was ready for it. I was given my own desk which I could decorate however I pleased. I wasn't given a desk phone with my own extension number for clients to call if they needed me. I was given a brand new iPhone for work and I was given a laptop.
So far I've done four days at my internship. I haven't done much other than read through loads and loads of paperwork and other resources case managers use for their clients. I've shadowed coworkers. I had my first client interaction this past Friday. I attended a doctor's appointment with a client who has severe medical problems. It was exciting and also upsetting. The client was suffering greatly and there was not much my coworker and I could do to help.
Overall, I am ready to start my case management(or care coordination as Catholic Charities calls it) journey. I am ready to gain experience that I can use for the rest of my life.