The CICOA Blog

The Value of Social Work Practicum Experience

Kelli Wilson Email This PostEmail This PostPrint This PostPrint This Post

“What do you want to do when you graduate?” is a question I hear frequently, and my answer is always changing. I currently am a student at IUPUI in the Master’s of Social Work program while holding my job as a care manager at CICOA. My advice for those working while attending school is that it can be daunting, but it is definitely manageable.

As a student, it is expected that you will complete various internships prior to graduating. I have always had a dream to work with geriatrics, so as the deadline approached to make a decision about my practicum placement, I decided to look into an employment-based practicum.

For my employment-based practicum, I interned as a field options counselor under CICOA’s Healthcare Collaboration department. I was located within the geriatric clinic at Methodist Hospital. While there, I was able to assess individuals of their needs for various in-home services and community resources. This internship gave me an opportunity to see social work in a hospital and clinic-based setting, rather than solely through my work as an in-home care manager. I also was able to participate within an interprofessional team and utilize person-centered techniques with this team, as well as with the patient.

For me, completing an employment-based practicum was extremely insightful. After working at CICOA for more than two years, I wondered what more I could learn. Well, the answer is a lot. This opportunity showed me two similar yet very different roles for a professional social worker. Furthermore, it pushed me to work hard and apply my learning, not only within my internship, but also within my career at CICOA.