Amanda Ewing hard at work at her practicum at Randall Children’s Hospital
It is often said that good things come out of negative situations. This was the case for senior Amanda Ewing when breaking her leg last year led to an internship that would fulfill the practicum requirement for her social work major and, ultimately, would become something that she exudes passion for.
Ewing works alongside the Social Worker in the emergency department at Randall Children’s Hospital doing mental health assessments for patients and providing support for patients’ families. This experience has both supplemented her undergraduate education and provided knowledge that will be useful on her future career path.
“When I was getting surgery (on my leg), the nurses asked what my major was and said, ‘our social workers are so awesome,’” Ewing said. “It really caused me to think more about that as an option for me.”
Ewing ended up connecting with a UP alumna who had recently gotten a job at Randall Children’s Hospital, who helped her secure the job and whom Ewing now works with. Ewing is the hospital’s first undergraduate student to hold this position.
“I’ve found that in each class, whether it was a policy class or human behavior or social psych, there are little things that I’ve learned in each class that prepared me well for working in the hospital and working with people of totally different backgrounds,” Ewing said.
In addition to being able to use skills she’s learned in class, Ewing feels that she is able to put some of the aspects of her personality to use in her practicum to help people, which is one of the most rewarding parts of the experience.
“I’ve always been naturally a compassionate person, so I am able to use my natural gifts and put them into practice,” Ewing said. “My favorite part is when families come in, getting to work with them and help them feel more confident in their abilities.”
Ewing has also learned some lessons that would be difficult to teach in a classroom, including the importance of self-care when working in a service-intensive job.
“I’ve learned that, especially in such a caring field, you have to be able to step back and advocate for yourself,” Ewing said. “I’ve also gotten a lot more confident in working with families so different from me and my situation.”
While she will not be working under the title of “Social Worker” following graduation, Ewing will be teaching elementary school with a service organization (she has yet to decide between several options). She feels that the skills she’s learned and practiced at Randall will definitely add to her success in her future endeavors.
Story by Clare Duffy