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Typical Day

Felicia Facilitator pours her third cup of coffee, grabs a laptop bag crammed full of client folders, and tears out the door at an Olympic sprinter's pace. Who in their right mind would schedule a staff meeting at 8am on a Friday morning? Answer: Felicia's agency director, a clueless woman oblivious to the fact that the entire staff has been playing catch-up all week. No one has finished their weekly reports yet; that's what Fridays are for. Besides, the weekend is almost here, and Felicia desperately needs some time to decompress.

Unfortunately, Felicia's not going to get that time right now. She slides into her chair just as Carrie, her agency director, begins to speak. Carrie soon discovers her rehabilitation counselors have great photographic memories. Each staffer can rattle off their clients' treatment plans and provide progress reports while barely glancing at their hastily scribbled notes. Few of those notes, however, have been entered into the computer-based treatment log. Carrie painstakingly reads the agency policy about maintaining good client documentation to her yawning counselors, who keep sneaking looks at their watches when they think she's not looking.

Finally, the excruciating meeting is over, which creates an obvious sense of relief for everyone but Carrie. Felicia could give a rat's patootie about the meetings, documentation requirements, and other regulations made up by bored, over-caffeinated government workers sitting in policy meetings. Felicia just wants to help her clients. Looking at her day planner, she realizes today's schedule is crammed full of appointments, and she'll probably have to squeeze in a few more calls and emails.

First, Felicia reviews her voicemail messages. One of her rehab clients, an elderly woman making significant progress after a stroke, has suffered another fall at her nursing home facility. This means Felicia must get an update from the woman's medical team, talk with the facility's nursing manager, and determine when the woman can progress with her rehab program.

Next, Felicia meets with a young auto accident victim who required a partial leg amputation following her traumatic injuries. Although the young woman is progressing physically in the hospital, she is experiencing severe emotional turmoil when she confronts the reality of life after she is discharged. Felicia has arranged for two of her former clients to accompany her to the hospital. Both companions have also had leg amputations, but have recovered to resume their athletic lifestyles and careers. Felicia listens closely as the two visitors, an energetic man and woman in their 20s, speak with heartfelt sincerity to the young woman.

Now it's time for lunch, or more accurately, a fast-food sandwich Felicia gobbles down while she types away on her computer. She tries frantically to finish her treatment log so she won't have to work over the weekend again. No such luck—now it's time for her next appointment. Felicia has visited this employer before, and he's receptive to hiring three of her physically disabled but computer-skilled clients. The meeting goes well, and Felicia sets a tentative hire date for the new employees. Returning to her office, she excitedly calls them with the good news.

Felicia's Friday is winding down, but she still has one more client and a group counseling session. Josh, a veteran in his early 40s who has just returned from a long deployment overseas, may be exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Since Josh has recently retired and moved back to his home town, receiving treatment on base is not an option. Because Felicia can't diagnose Josh's symptoms herself, she arranges for an appointment with a psychologist with PTSD treatment experience. She also assembles a list of resources that may help Josh readjust to civilian life. Finally, Felicia asks if Josh's family includes a dog; he says no. Felicia feels the steady, unconditional love given by a canine companion will help Josh with his recovery. He agrees to consider the possibility, although he wants to wait a few weeks before Felicia takes him to a local animal shelter.

Felicia can just taste the weekend, but it's tantalizingly out of reach for one more hour. She is about to host a group counseling session for substance abusers who have been clean for at least a year. These clients now want to re-enter the workforce and resume productive lives without their abusive substance of choice. Felicia is not responsible for the clients' recovery; the clients and their 12-Step program sponsors must keep that on track. She does, however, help them along the path to employment and independent living by providing an environment that encourages rather than denigrates them.

Finally, Felicia's weekend is here! She still has to complete this week's treatment log by Monday morning, but fortunately she can do that from her home computer. Tonight, she's going to put her feet on the coffee table and watch a couple of trashy reality shows. Come Monday, Felicia gets to do it all again.