Showing posts from January, 2012


I finally created a facebook page! I figured it would be another way to keep people updated on my posts and other news. Please add me here: Cheap Social Worker

(not so) Cheap Social Worker's Guide to Preventing Social Work Burnout

Like many of you, I have days when I come home exhausted, frustrated, and jaded. I wonder why I'm in this field and question whether my work makes a difference. Sometimes, I go as far googling alternate jobs I could do with my MSW. This is when I know it's time for some self-care.

As members of a profession notorious for burnout, we social workers have to be especially conscious of our need for rest and rejuvenation. While people in other fields might find the term funny, "self-care" is essential to keep ourselves physically and emotionally well. That way, we can provide the best care possible to the populations we serve.

Working in a profession that also has a reputation for being lower paying, many of us lack the funds for a fancy vacation or spa treatment. However, this is not an excuse to neglect our self-care regimen. Here are some ideas for caring for yourself while saving a few dollars:

Cheap Tip #1: Go for a walk/jog. Find a scenic area or park and get a…

Fox's "Touch": A Social Worker's Review

I just finished watching "Touch" and wanted to share my take. Please excuse this hastily written entry!

I've heard about "Touch", Fox's latest sci-fi series featuring a social worker, for months now. According to Social Workers Speak, social workers have worked with the show's producers and actress playing the social worker to ensure an accurate portrayal of the profession. While I wasn't planning to watch this show, reading about it piqued my interest enough to watch the pilot episode. Going into it, I had my doubts about how the social worker would be portrayed. Given the fact that the social worker is your stereotypical child welfare one, I expected the worst.

Honestly, I was surprised. While a quick twitter search seemed to show a number of negative comments about social worker Clea Hopkins, I didn't think the way she carried herself was that bad. Given the information in her file about Jake and his father Mark(and the fact that she lac…

The Body Shop Deal

This past year, I've probably purchased more products at The Body Shop than anywhere else. If you open my bathroom drawers, you'll find a small collection of body washes, hand soaps, lotions, room sprays, and reed diffusers. The Body Shop appeals to me because I like the assortment of scents they carry. It also helps that the company promotes a number of social causes I support.

While I did purchase a ton of stuff from The Body Shop this past year, not once did I pay full price for a single item. In fact, I typically paid less than 50% of full price after accounting for deal of the day vouchers, sales, and discounts from the Love Your Body Club. The great thing was that this left me with extra money to spend on food, or sale items at Bath and Body Works.

For two days, Living Social is offering a $20 voucher to The Body Shop for $10. This may be a great time to stock up if you think you'll need bathroom stuff in the coming months. The Body Shop has sales throughout t…

How to Host a Cheap Sports Party

Football playoff season is in full swing (GO NINERS!), and I plan on spending it on my couch with some drinks and my favorite finger foods. I know that many of you will probably be getting together with friends to catch the big games, so I thought I would offer a few money saving tips on hosting those football get-togethers!

Tip #1: Stay home instead of hitting the bars. Bar food, pints of beer, and mixed drinks are typically more expensive than throwing your own party. Don't forget other hidden costs like tax and tip! Avoid the crowded bars (and drunk drivers), buy a twelve-pack, and cook up some snacks at home!

Tip #2: Check the grocery store ads for deals. Each week, I check the grocery store ads and plan my meals around what's on sale. Grocery stores tend to stock up on snack type foods around football playoffs season, so there's bound to be some deals. Since I am lucky enough to live near several grocery chains, I use the ads to make a shopping list of sale items…

"Once Upon A Time" Bashes Social Work Profession

Normally, I enjoy watching "Once Upon A Time". It's a (somewhat) family friendly show and a creative take on the fairy tale characters I saw in Disney films as a child. For those unfamiliar with the show, here's a one sentence summary: "Once Upon A Time" is the story of what happens when the evil witch from Snow White sends fairy tale characters into our world with no recollection of their previous lives. While I don't normally watch much TV, the story was entertaining enough to keep me coming back each week. Also, unlike medical dramas, I figured I could watch it without cringing at certain professions being portrayed inaccurately... until tonight.

Each episode of "Once Upon A Time" seems to feature a different fairy tale characters, and tonight it was Hansel and Gretel. In short, the protagonist of the story (who spent 16 years in the foster system), Emma Swan, discovers that Hansel and Gretel have no parents. To "save" them …

Hospital Social Workers Receive Positive Media Attention!

While reading Social Worker Speak, I ran across an article that recognized social workers at a Utah hospital for assisting the families of police officers victimized by a shooting. In addition to praising these individuals, this article then goes on to emphasize the importance of hospital social work in providing patients and family members with psychosocial support in what can be a chaotic and overwhelming medical environment. It was my first time seeing hospital social workers discussed in the media, and I'm glad that it was in a positive light!

Part of the reason I can no longer watch medical dramas is due to the fact that they do not accurately portray a hospital setting. Oftentimes, these shows depict doctors taking on the roles of nurse, social worker, physical therapist, pharmacist, nutritionist, occupational therapist, respiratory therapist, medical technician, CNA, etc. What I would love to see is a medical drama that portrays the lives of people in these aforementione…

Should We Pick Majors Based on Pay?

Happy New Year, everyone! As I wrote on my other blog, I resolve to post at least once a week this year. Hopefully I can accomplish this goal!

For my first post of 2012, I wanted to expand on discuss an issue I touched on in a previous post - the profitability of our college major. Lately, I've been seeing news agencies and blogs post articles about individuals, including social workers buried in student loan debt and working low paying jobs. I'm sure these issues have been around for years, but I speculate that these news articles have increased in frequency as a result of the recession, high unemployment rates, and indebted college graduates participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

As usual, the comments contained as much vitriol as previous articles on unemployed college graduates. I've heard similar statement among my own circle of acquaintances (many Silicon Valley engineers) with statements like, "Teachers are dumb; that's why they're teach…

2012 New Year's Resolutions

Hello, and many apologies for the lack of updates. Between work, family obligations, travels abroad, and the holidays I haven't had much time to work on this blog. Now that things have settled down a bit I hope I can start posting regularly again!

Since it is a new year, I figured it would be appropriate to post my list of 2012 new year's resolutions:

1) Move out of my parents' house
2) Update my blogs at least once a week
3) Go to the gym at least twice a week

I think I'll start with those for now. Better to have a small list of attainable goals than a long list of resolutions I'll probably break. Wish me luck!