You're the only hospice social worker in a small southern hospice agency. You've been there for two years, since you got your Master's in Social Work, and you love what you do. However, you're getting a bit burned out by the crazy hours and heavy workload. Rumors have it they'll hire a second hospice social worker, but you're not sure you can hang on that long.
You decided not to hang on; instead you assumed more of a management role at a larger regional hospice facility. You still perform assessments and meet with families on occasion, but you mostly help allocate resources and perform staff support functions. You appreciate the reduced stress, but miss the personal interactions that gave meaning to your job.
You have started a hospice agency in a growing Midwestern city. Your agency incorporates an unusual premise: your hospice social workers bring certified therapy dogs on visits to hospice patients. Patients and their families have embraced the idea, leading to extensive publicity and rapid growth in your agency's market share.
Your animal-friendly hospice agency has expanded throughout the Midwest, and you're trying to decide which region of the country you'll pursue next. You've also launched a hospice social work program at a nearby university, and you teach there two nights per week.
The National Association of Social Workers invited you to share your successful hospice agency concept at the association's national meeting. As a result of your presentation, many conference attendees expressed interest in establishing animal-friendly hospice agencies around the country. You have decided to devote the next two years to help interested communities realize those goals.