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Who am I, where I am: The pursuit, commitment, and persistence of senior medical socil workers
medical social worker
Social work is work in which social workers use themselves as a tool to influence the subjects they serve. Through interaction, experience and attitude. Therefore, professional commitment becomes very important. Professional commitment involves the social workers’ high recognition of professional values and ethics and their further willingness to invest their effort in this profession and their voluntary commitment to the profession. They face the dilemma of life with the users they serve, and even change the situation of the entire society through themselves or the power of the community. In this study, qualitative in-depth interviews were used to understand the connotation of professional commitment of six senior social workers in the medical field over ten years, and explored their personal growth and professional career development during their work, including self-positioning in the service process, professional identification and investment in the specialty. We saw the interviewees’ pursuant and persistence in professional commitment along the way. Finally, through integration of experience, this study provided suggestions for novice social workers and professional development. Based on the experience of the six interviewees, the author found that professional development process is divided into three stages, each of which has its own challenges and growth. The challenges and growth become part of self-nourishment, allowing the social workers to continue to learn, try and progress in their specialized field. Further exploration into the connotation of professional commitment showed that the interviewees have developed a set of coping method in the medical field, and can flexibly use their expertise, demonstrate their ability at the right moment and are needed by others. This requires a deep foundation for long-term management of team relationship. The professional values and goals are reconfirmed through collision and cooperation. Finally, the relationship among resources, systems and specialty of social workers was understood, and the balance and negotiation were sought. The interviewees were engaged in public affairs with a focus on professional development. They also carried out education and research work when possible, and took the chance to learn and grow. Finally, the author and the interviewees reviewed the interviewees’ decisions on staying in the course and their persistence along the way, and found that the interviewees are truly passionate for social work. Regardless of their position, they were able to fulfill their missions. Under the interweaving of life experience and specialty, this professional commitment went beyond survival so that they were able to discover their sense of accomplishment and significance.
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