Integrating Class and Field

It has been a few weeks since the start of my second semester in the full-time program, and I am nose deep in assignments, readings, and fieldwork. I must be doing well in terms of self-care because I have not hit the panic button just yet – although I have come close. For me, this semester has been tough but also very rewarding. It seems as though the majority of my classes have been drawing from my experiences at my field placement. I am currently enrolled in the evidence-based practice/program evaluation and the integrated social work practice courses, and both have forced me to become more assertive, especially in terms of finding a client and working with them on interventions and the research behind those treatments. The assignments are research-intensive and require a lot of critical thinking, but I am finding that if I can put a client’s face to a certain situation or treatment model, then it makes it that much easier to complete the assignment and also the experience becomes that much more real. Now we’re not all just researching random treatments and interventions and applying them in field, but we are gaining the knowledge and rationale behind the decisions being made by our multidisciplinary teams. For me, finding evidence-based practices (EBP) has been a new experience, and it’s one that has been both frustrating and enlightening. UNC SSW strongly emphasizes the use of EBP, and all my classes are making sure that we know how to find that “best available evidence” and how to assess it and apply it. I’ve greatly appreciated how integrated my classes and field experience has been thus far. I feel much more confident and competent in what I am doing at my placement. I am on a care coordination team at The Durham Center, the Local Management Entity in Durham County, and many of my colleagues are not social workers. So being able to provide them with the evidence-based knowledge I’ve received from my professors, classmates, and readings, has greatly assisted the process of finding the best treatments and interventions for our clients and how best to implement those into discharge plans. I have a few difficult clients I am currently working with, and I am excited to see how things end up as I continue to bring forth the social work perspective within my unit.

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About Rayhaan Adams

Hey! My name is Rayhaan Adams. I'm a 2nd year MSW student in the full-time program. I'm originally from Cape Town, South Africa but have lived in Singapore, Germany, and now reside in Cary, only a few miles down the road. I attended UNC for undergrad, and can't see myself leaving anytime soon. My primary interests are at-risk youth and single parent families, as well as children and their families in the medical setting. If you don't see me around campus, I'm probably running, golfing, road-tripping, or hanging out with my family.
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