Social work is both an academic and professional discipline concerned with assisting individuals, groups, families and societies with the sole aim of enhancing their individual and collective well-being. It helps children and adults to safe and sound within their habitats and improves their quality of life. Social workers go a long way in helping individuals solve their problems and as well as preventing problems from developing (Barker, 2003). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a social worker is an individual who aids people by assisting them to handle and solve issues in their everyday lives. Such issues may involve family problems, personal problems, relationship problems and many more. The main goal behind social work is helping individuals to develop their skills and their ability to use their personal and society resources to resolve their problems. It is concerned in individual work as well as other societal issues such as poverty, joblessness, family problems, domestic violence and many more. Social work stands out unique from other professions since it is blend in some specific values, knowledge and skills. More so, it applies relationship as the foundation of all interventions and considers respecting the client’s choice and involvement.
Social workers play an essential role and more so in a social-political-economic context which has seen increased insecurity and social tensions. They work in various settings including family service agencies, correctional institutional such as rehabilitation centers, children’s aid agencies, hospitals, schools, provincial departments, federal departments and many more. Recent research has shown that 93% of social workers are employed in the health and social services or government industries. 74% work in the health and social services while 19% work in government industries. However, only a few social workers are employed in the private sector. Social workers provide their services as members of a team or as an individual to the relevant client with their duties varying depending with the working settings and conditions in which they are based. Social workers should have a strong desire to assist people in solving their various problems (NASW, 1999). They should be flexible, sensitive, collaborative, understanding, resourceful, responsible, and responsive and more so they should have superb written and oral communication skills. Personally, I rank social work as a perfect profession since it involves helping people and interacting with them. Social workers should be patient and empathetic, one of the important characteristics of becoming a social worker. A social worker should feel empathy for people and place him/herself in the client’s position in order to succeed.
Social workers are required to carry an initial assessment of situations they come to contact with prior to taking any action. This plays a crucial role since they provide the basis for any plans to support, protect, manage or assist a client. Social work is an interdisciplinary as it draws from several areas of practice such as sociology and criminology. Unlike health profession, which is a single model, social work requires study and continuous professional development. This will help to retain knowledge and skills in practice. One of the historic and defining characteristic of the social work profession is based on its focus on personal well-being in a social context and broader terms the well-being of the society in general (NASW, 1999). Social workers uphold social justice and communal change with and on behalf of the clients. They maintain their professional relationships with clients acting as guides and advocates. Social workers are sometimes required to apply their professional judgment to make tough decisions that at times not well received by the clients.
Health care is advancing and changing every single day as time goes by. Nurses are caring a larger number of critical patients that require professional knowledge and skills. Nursing can be defined as the protection, endorsement, and optimization of health and abilities, avoidance of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering by diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, societies and the whole world populace at large. Nursing has evolved to become the fastest growing profession within the health care field.
In order to meet the diverse patients’ needs, nurses must be prepared to do so by practicing their education, function as leaders, and improve their skills to endorse smooth academic progression (Chaska, 1993). According to the IOM report on nursing practice, the upcoming advancement of education and knowledge enables nurses to deliver outstanding quality of care. It is up to an individual nurse to continue to seek out knowledge and get familiar with the most up-to-date advancements in order to continue delivering quality health care. This also enhances a nurses' increasing in versatility and adaptability.
Nursing is a profession where leadership is clearly seen. Nurses team up with the multidisciplinary team to identify a problem and as such are the backbone to the quality of care that is delivered to the patient. Nurses are involved in an array of activities such as planning care, monitoring, assessment, education, coaching, chronic disease self-management, support, just but to mention a few. They also play a major role in suggested contributions and at the same time keeping in mind that their chief focus is the well being of the patient. Nurses are held responsible for individual professional and growth when it comes to leadership.
Nurses’ professional identities build up throughout their lifetimes, beginning from before they enroll for nursing education, throughout their years of learning and continue to advance during their careers as nurses. Education is a major period since then the students gain the knowledge and skills that distinguish nurses as professional health care providers/workers from lay people. Nurses are rigorously trained through proficient educational programs to practice independently and deliver primary health care services (Chaska, 1993). Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative health care of all individuals regardless of their age, group, family, racial background, and ethnicity, sick or unwell and in all settings. Nursing profession is founded upon a social agreement that delineates professional rights and responsibilities incorporating mechanisms for public accountability. Nursing practice is governed by the law and entrance to the practice is regulated at the national level. This profession enhances quality health care for all encompassing maintaining their credentials, code of ethics, standards, competencies and abiding by their education. The profession combines social science, physical science, nursing theory and technological advancements in caring for patients. As such, nurses are able to care for all persons who are healthy and sick in a horrifying manner based on a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, and social needs (Huston, 2014). Nursing profession encompasses that nurses may follow their individual and professional interest by working with any group of people, in any setting, at time. It gives nurses the freedom to employ their services wherever and whenever one is willing.
Blandford, Sonia, and Catherine Knowles, Developing Professional Practice 0-7, Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013, Print.
Chaska, Norma L, The Nursing Profession: A Time to Speak, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993, Print
Huston, Carol J. Professional Issues in Nursing: Challenges & Opportunities. Baltimore, MD: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014, Print
Barker, R. L. (2003), The social work dictionary Washington, DC: NASW Press.
National Association of Social Workers (1999), Encyclopedia of social work, New York: National Association of Social Workers.