The balance between personal life and professional life is the dream of every employee. Being successful in our work and complying with our daily routines sometimes seems almost impossible.
Is there a magic formula to achieve this perfect balance? We have to overcome many obstacles to emotionally and mentally distance ourselves from our job when we are at home or with friends.
This challenge is even harder when you are working in the social sector as you are emotionally connected to your work. A study in the online social work masters tells that social workers often go through symptoms similar to that of PTSD. And this is common when social workers are deputed to areas affected by natural disasters.
A challenge for social workers
Other than challenging working conditions, rigorous working hours and dangers to well being, there are several other effects that are afflicted on a social worker’s personal life. They are:
Health is affected
Social work is most needed in the health sector. Social workers have the most laborious job in the health sector all over the world. According to the World Health Organization, social workers are appointed for the health unit the most.
In the third world countries, social workers volunteer the most to help avoid diseases that have been eradicated all over the world.
Social work in the hospitals
Social workers have different duties depending on the area of the hospital where they are deputed. Their duties encompass a lot of things, but some of the most prominent functions are:
- Detect socioeconomic problems in admitted patients.
- Perform socio-economic studies when necessary.
- Detect the problem of patients arriving at the emergency department at a social level.
- Guide families about procedures such as organ donation, blood donation, or others.
- Send notices of legal cases to the Public Ministry.
- Search for resources at discharge and coordination with the social services area and Social Work of the reference Hospital.
- Support the families of those admitted
- Manage issues such as the procedures for requesting the legal situation of disability, work disability, and others.
- Advise families before hospital discharge about reeducation and normalization of daily life.
- Working with drug abused individuals and locating them in rehabilitation centers.
- We are working with mentally injured and disabled individuals.
- We are educating the families of the mentally challenged regarding how to manage the patients and normalizing life for them.
Working in the health sector is not an easy task. The social worker is exposed to many health risks. There are many families who, due to lack of awareness, don’t know how to tackle mental health problems.
The same is the case with vaccines. Many people are hesitant to get vaccinated or get their children vaccinated from the fear of them getting ill.
Inability to compartmentalize
The bad thing about being a social worker is that it is difficult to compartmentalize your thoughts and feelings. A social worker can’t keep his mind off of the people he is helping nor can he lock his thoughts in file cabinets after his shift has ended. Professions like this, in which we dedicate ourselves to others, pose two very important challenges.
The first is that a social worker cannot be at ease until there is social unrest out there. The second is that whatever is going in a social worker’s professional life also affects them and those around them even after their day at the office has ended.
Criticality allows you to manage many actions of everyday life effectively. Being critical favors you when you have to manage a social life, conflict management, parenting, etc. But it can also become a problem when you’re too critical for the casual things in life as well.
When you’re working in the social sector, a little judgment comes naturally. Although this judgment is also bad for your peace of mind because many times, you critically judge yourself the same as you do others. You become discontent because mostly the reality isn’t good as well.
You’re always methodical
Working for people is different than working for an organization that deals in goods and services. Social workers invest their emotions and energies in their work because whatever they do, directly affects the people for whom they do it.
Being able to watch the news without remorse when there’s a harrowing detail in it or to watch a program without analyzing family relationships is a luxury social worker can’t afford. Even being able to talk to your elderly relatives about what is most convenient for them because of their age without having to use professional strategies is an arduous task.
Many times relatives don’t want to talk to relatives in social work because they feel it is related to you professionally although you’re genuinely caring for them.
Social work is a profession in which there’s no guarantee of time. It is not like the traditional nine to five jobs, and you have to give more than one hundred percent in this job.
Your own family suffers because you have to give your time in making the world a better place.
There are studies that social workers have often spent 36 straight hours on their job. Social workers are invested emotionally in their jobs even after their work has ended. They suffer from anxiety and health problems themselves.
While working with the elderly, social workers have to present for emergencies all the time.
Social workers contribute to several social duties, such as:
- Contribute to reducing social inequalities and injustices.
- Publicize the opportunities that social groups have at their disposal.
- Motivate to have access to those opportunities.
- Help people, families and social groups to develop the emotional, intellectual and social responses necessary to enable them to take advantage of those opportunities without having to give up their personal, cultural and original features.
- Help people involved in managing feelings and emotions to learn to express them explicitly.
- Help troubled people learn new ways to deal with problems, spend life differently.
- Establish or facilitate communication between people in crisis, and with people who can help in the process.
Social workers have to go against many opposing elements may it be from the culture, religion or law. The people of the society or community also become hesitant to reach out for help. The social worker often faces security risks, as well.
Social work is one of the most challenging careers, but one of the most rewarding ones, as well. Social workers work in close affinity to people and lend a helping hand in solving problems of society. They face many risks in their personal life due to their profession but are dedicated members working for the progress of society.
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