Showing posts from February, 2012

IHOP National Pancake Day

Just a friendly reminder that today is IHOP's National Pancake Day Celebration. Between the hours of 7am to 10pm, you can go to a participating IHOP and get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes! Go treat yourself for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all of the above!

IHOP has been doing their annual pancake giveaway since 2006 and has raised almost $8 million for charity. Make sure you leave a donation in exchange for your pancakes, which will go to local charities and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Don't forget to tip your waiter, too. IHOP's staff members probably have a busy day ahead of them!

Bon appetit!

New Printer!

Happy Saturday! Work this week was extremely exhausting, so I'm glad I have a few days off to catch up on sleep! Here's a quick post before I go to bed.

When I was in grad school, I used a bubblejet printer. While I didn't think much about it initially, I started to notice that I was spending a considerable amount of money replacing my printer cartridges every 2-3 months. Eventually, I stopped using my printer altogether because I realized that 1) the ink was really expensive, 2) the printer wasted color ink every time I turned it off and on (even though I typically only used black ink), and 3) the printer had a mechanism that prevented it from working if either the black or color cartridge was empty. Since then, I've printed documents at work, asked my boyfriend to print things for me, or showed people files on my smartphone.

Today, my boyfriend was browsing FatWallet and found a deal on a Brother Printer. Looking at prices for corresponding ink replacements on

Women’s Pay More Equal to Men in Social Work | Social Workers Speak

This morning, I found this promising article that reported that women "only" make 2% less than men in the field of social work. While initially encouraging, I was reminded of some articles I've read in the past that stated otherwise.

After some searching, I found an old NASW press release and Social Workers Speak article that criticized the fact that Payscale only collected data from bachelors of social work majors. They referred readers to the National Association of Social Workers Compensation and Benefits Study, which provided a more accurate picture of social worker salaries since it included data from masters of social work graduates.

Unfortunately, this NASW study shows that the median salary of female social workers is $11,000 lower than male social workers ($53,000 and $64,000, respectively). This difference is significantly higher than 2%. One can only speculate why the gender pay disparity increases so much between bachelors and masters graduates. However, w…

Becoming a Counselor: Addiction counseling

Here is an excellent post from Becoming a Counselor that talks about addiction. My favorite parts of this post are the pictures, which would make great educational handouts during individual or group counseling sessions. Definitely worth the read, especially for people like me who don't do much drug counseling.

Becoming a Counselor: Addiction counseling: Quite some time ago after attending a few weekend courses related to addiction I became interested in working with this population of peopl...

Going Mobile

I've created mobile versions of my blogs for fellow social workers with smartphones. Hopefully they're much easier to view than the old non-mobile format! Check them out using your cell phone:

Cheap Social Worker
Cheap Social Worker Adventures


About Social Services at a Hospital

Medical social work is an expansive field, encompassing areas such as hospice, home health, skilled nursing, and acute hospitals. After a few scary moments in home health, I've decided to stay in the acute setting until I experience complete medical social worker burnout.

Though considered a specific area of practice, hospital social work is actually relatively broad. Social services departments vary in function from hospital to hospital, with individual social workers performing correspondingly diverse roles. I've found that certain tasks I perform at one hospital might be performed by a completely different profession at another, or just omitted entirely.

When asked what I do at work, I often have a hard time explaining due to the variety of tasks I perform every day. However, after some thought, I've manage to divide my roles into five categories. These categories are not mutually exclusive, and some hospitals may not even have social workers performing tasks in all o…

Proposition 8 Ruled Unconstitutional

Great news coming from California today! A U.S. appeals court ruled 2-1 against Proposition 8, a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in California. While the ban will still be in effect until the Supreme Court rules on the case, this is certainly a step in the positive direction.

To quote Judge Stephen Reinhardt, "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples."

I come from a Catholic family, with a number of family members who don't believe in same-sex marriage. Most of them voted yes on Proposition 8. Arguments I've heard from my family members against same-sex marriage include them not liking gays and lesbians personally, questions about how same-sex couples can biologically give birth and raise families without "mothers" or "fathers", homo…

Salaried vs. Hourly: Which is better?

In my travels, I've had the opportunity to work in and observe places that pay their social workers either hourly (typically non-exempt) or salaried (typically exempt). Here's my analysis of each one and my thoughts of which I'd rather work.

-Time and a half overtime pay after working 8 hours
-Guaranteed lunch and break periods, with overtime pay if they're not taken
-Time and a half pay for working holidays
-Time and a half pay for working more than 40 hours a week
-Going home after 8 hours so management doesn't have to pay overtime

-Strict rules regarding lunches (i.e. no answering phones, no talking about work, no lunch interruptions, etc.)
-Required breaks and lunch negatively impacting a busy day, resulting in having to stay at work later
-Management getting upset when overtime is used too often
-Loss of paid time off or wages during holidays and sick days
-Loss of wages if your hours are cut from low workload

-Guaranteed pay, r…

Social Work Career Development: Art Therapy and Social Work

I ran across this post while perusing Social Work Blogs (and putting off sleep in the process). I think it provides some great ideas for developing rapport with young individuals. Unfortunately, since I work in a medical setting doing discharge planning, I often don't have the time to develop strong rapport with my patients. However, if I ever see children in the future, the techniques described in this blog post are definitely worth a shot.

Social Work Career Development: Art Therapy and Social Work: Have you ever wondered how to incorporate art therapy in a session with a client?  To make the most of my Unplanned Detour , I'm taking...

Non-Family Support Systems

"Social work is clerical, while nursing is clinical."

"Nurses have to give medication, set up IV, clean bodily waste, spend the whole day being waitress to a patient, and deal with difficult family on top of that. We can do the job physical therapy, pharmacy, phlebotomy, respiratory therapy, and social work. This is why nursing pays more than social work, even with your masters degree. Your job is easier than ours."

These two quotes came from my mom while we were have a discussion on why nurse case managers make more than social workers when they do the same discharge planning duties (though my mom missed the fact that I was referring to nurse case managers, not floor nurses). My mom views the different medical professions as part of a hierarchy, with doctors at the top, nurses one step below, and everyone else beneath the nurses. According to my mom, salaries should also be based on this same hierarchy.

When it comes to nurse and social worker salaries, I doubt …