April 14, 2020
Chris Woodley • email@example.com
Unlike some students who may not realize their interest in social work until later in their undergraduate studies, Charleston native Destiny Asby knew her passion when she started at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. After earning her Bachelor of Social Work in Columbia last year, she will graduate next month from the Advanced Standing program to pursue a career in medical social work and mental health. But thanks for her education and experience at the College of Social Work, Asby knows she is prepared to serve her clients, while making sure others realize the depth of opportunities available to social workers.
Why did you want to study social work?
“Even before starting school, I chose social work because I knew from the beginning that I had a heart to help people. After researching social work and the variety of jobs available, I knew that social work was for me. It’s my passion and what I was born to do.”
Why was it important to be in the Advanced Standing Program and earn your MSW in 11 months?
“Saving time was my main goal in applying. Completing my degree in less than a year was important because I’ll be a licensed social worker and working in my field within a year. The Advanced Standing program is worth it and will pay off in the end.”
What did you enjoy most about your field placements, and what did you learn from your experiences?
“At Senior Resources (BSW field placement), I connected seniors to community resources and conducted assessments. As a social worker, assessments are important to know and conduct for determining your client’s needs. I also enjoyed home visits just to see clients in their own element, learning more about them, and figuring out their needs. I have a special place in my heart for the elderly because they are sometimes forgotten, and it's important to give them the resources just as much as children and adults.
At Lexington Medical Center (MSW field placement), I provide medical social work services for our patients. I did discharge planning, which is important in a hospital, and worked with an interdisciplinary team, which provided valuable skills in working with different fields. I’ve learned all the resources available in the community for different populations. I have a greater appreciation for the team effort that discharge planning requires. At first, I thought that hospital discharge was simple, but learning the process and having hands-on experience has been amazing.
I've learned the importance of connecting people to the appropriate resources that are offered within the community. It's important to know these resources to help these individuals successfully re-integrate themselves back into the community.”
Which faculty member has had the most influence on your social work studies?
“Susan Boykin was an adjunct faculty member who had a huge impact on me. I adored her from the second I took her classes. She influenced me in terms of my interest in medical social work, and I enjoyed how she integrated her work at a dialysis clinic into our classes. She was real with us and transparent. I remember her telling us how some people say, 'Social workers don't make a lot of money.' She made me realize to go out and look for the job you want. We have the possibility to make more than people say. She had a huge impact on me and made me feel a sense of relief that what people are saying is not always true.”
What social issues are you most passionate about or advocate for?
“I am passionate about advanced directives, which is advocating for the patient’s right to self-determination. Advanced directives document the patient’s end of life decisions, such as whether they want to be kept alive by a breathing machine and who they want to be their decision maker.”
How can you help change someone’s misconceptions about the social work field?
“Educate… Educate… Educate. It’s amazing to see the long list of occupations that social workers can fulfill. It frustrates me when I tell someone that I'm a social worker and they respond by saying something like, 'Oh, you take babies?' But instead of just saying, ‘No,’ I would take the time to educate them that we're in hospitals, schools and other places. We're still working on improving the image of social work, but it’s getting better.”