"What inspires you?”
March is National Social Worker Appreciation Month, which is the perfect time to highlight our team of compassionate and skilled social workers at LightBridge Hospice. They inspire us every day as they devote themselves to our patients and families.
But this month we turned the tables and asked them, “What inspires you?”
Perhaps not surprisingly, their answers came from a place of heart and soul.
Tia, one of our social workers who works closely with the Ohr Ami Jewish Hospice program shared, “I’m inspired by my patients’ life stories, their achievements and setbacks, their passions, their wisdom, and their ability to still love and give to others despite everything they have lost.”
Debbie, one of our social workers who said she has fallen in love with hospice care, offered how she’s been inspired by the willingness of patients and families to share their lives during such a difficult time. As a result, Debbie said she has learned about the true meaning of kindness and grace. She said the patients’ genuineness has led her to ultimately believe that “we are all placed where we belong at the time.”
Tina, one of our social workers who views her work as a blessing, has been inspired by her patients’ ability to “open their doors and hearts” to her. She shared what an honor it is to engage in their life review and to embrace their life experiences. She said her patients have taught her that life’s “little moments” are the most valuable. It is because of them that she has been inspired “to celebrate life, despite the circumstances, and continue to build a life she is proud of.”
For Angie, another dedicated social worker on the team, love is the main inspiration. She has noticed that love is present through all the anger, fear, conflict and uncertainty in people’s lives. She has been touched to witness the “outpouring of love” that patients and families have toward one another, and is continually motivated by the love she sees among the LightBridge staff.
Amanda, one of our social workers partnered with the LightBridge Medical Associates described a unique brand of strength she has garnered through her work. Although petite in stature, she has been inspired to offer a “broad shoulder” to her patients and said she has now learned there is no emotion she can’t handle. It is this courage that inspires her to advocate for her patients and “Give a voice to people who don’t otherwise have a voice.”
This courage and commitment seem to echo the early efforts of Jane Addams (1860-1935), who is often described as the “Mother of Social Work.” Like our social workers today, Jane Addams strived to better the lives of others and became famous for her tireless human rights advocacy. In fact, Jane Addams was highlighted at the National Women’s History Museum for her pivotal role in launching the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919, and for serving as an officer in the National Women's Suffrage Association. Her lifetime commitment to transforming the world earned Jane the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 - an extraordinary accomplishment considering she was the first American woman to receive this prestigious award.
It is clear that Jane Addams’ vision and bravery forged the path for today’s social workers. Her legacy still shines today and sets the tone for how our social workers serve with profound compassion, dignity, and respect.
All of us at LightBridge Hospice honor this remarkable legacy, and commend our social workers who share their spark, their heart, and all of their passions each and every day. May you know how your light inspires us and all you serve!