Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of the Field Educator! This will be our fifth issue since the journal’s inception in 2011. We are pleased to report that we now have 1316 active subscribers, and the journal’s webpage had almost 25,000 visits last year. Furthermore, we’re broadening the reach of the journal by spreading it in new formats; in response to popular demand for multiple ways to access Field Educator articles, we have created PDFs of all of our Field Educator articles in order to make it easier for you to share individual articles with students and colleagues. Thank you to the Field Educator community of scholars, educators, field instructors, and students.
The Field Educator, an online journal produced by the Simmons School of Social Work, promotes knowledge exchange among the social work field education community.
Armed with their mission—the teaching of social work—
Into this new world go field educators.
Update your syllabus: EPAS are still with us;
Develop more internships—now and not later!
The Simmons School of Social Work and the Field Educator sponsor an annual award to promote excellence in field education scholarship. A $1,000 prize will be awarded for an outstanding paper on social work field education. The winning paper will be announced at the 2014 Annual Program Meeting (APM) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and will be published in the Fall or Spring issue of the Field Educator. All entries must meet the submission guidelines for the Field Scholar section of the Field Educator.
Abstract: This article reports on the development and implementation of a campus-based, faculty-supervised field unit used to train Bachelor’s and Master’s-level social work students to work with military personnel, veterans, and their families. The model starts with working inside the campus environment by using services to student veterans to both respond to needs of the student veteran population and to teach competencies for serving the veteran population outside of the campus in community veteran service organizations. It discusses the lessons learned from student outcomes and program outcomes over the past three years and implications.
Should End-Measures for Every Competency and Practice Behavior Come from Field Practicum Evaluation?
Abstract: Field education is recognized as the signature pedagogy in social work education. In this article, we acknowledge the inherent support for using the competencies and practice behaviors set forth by the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for evaluating student performance as well as social work curriculum. However, we propose challenges to adopting field education ratings from field instructors as one of two means for evaluating the social work curriculum at both the individual and programmatic levels. With the 2015 EPAS currently in draft stages toward adoption in June 2015, this article underscores points of consideration.
Process recording is a time-honored vehicle for reflection in schools of social work, especially in the United States (Urdang, 1975). Process recording calls upon interns’ capacity for observation and recall, requiring verbatim reporting of an interview with a client or clients. It also encourages analysis: it begins with a description of the purpose and goals of the intervention, as well as the setting and participants; it allows for a description of the rationale for intervention and the skills utilized; and it ends with impressions, plans for the future, and questions for the student’s supervisors. Most importantly for reflection, the process recording has space for interns to record their thoughts and feelings in a column or columns parallel to the dialogue of the transcript (Fox & Gutheil, 2000; Graybeal & Ruff, 1995; Neuman & Friedman, 1997; Urdang, 1979).
Starting in 2011, the University of Akron School of Social Work has developed internships for social work students within various departments of the University. Ensuring that these internships meet the expectations set forth by the Council on Social Work is challenging in itself. This year, additional complications arose when a student with physical disabilities was placed at the School of Social Work. This paper will describe how the field department and the student collaborated to overcome obstacles and make the internship a success. Narratives are included from the student and from a fellow social work student, who helped him and was helped by him in turn.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) is a critical milestone in healthcare reform, though our country still struggles towards healthcare equality. It follows the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, which requires that health insurance benefits for mental health conditions are no more restrictive than benefits for medical conditions (“Mental Health Parity,” 2014). This legislation laid a foundation for mental health awareness and parity that is fundamental in the Affordable Care Act. This article describes one school’s exploration of the effects of the ACA – especially “medical homes” – on social work field education.
In this issue’s Conversation, we turn our attention to interprofessional education and explore the implications of this framework for social work education. The goal of interprofessional education is to promote collaborative team-based practice with the aim of improving patient care and health outcomes, while also reducing health care costs. Betsy Voshel, Director of Field Education at the University of Michigan, interviews Shelley Cohen Conrad, Director of the University of New England’s Center for Interprofessional Education in Biddeford Maine (http://www.une.edu/ceipe/). The center promotes educational programming and collaborative practice across health professions, including social work, nursing, and pharmacy. —Editor’s Note
What We're Reading
Staying current with scholarship enriches the work of field educators: it teaches us innovative ways to solve perennial field problems, suggests new readings for field seminars, keeps us abreast of current debates in social work education, and even inspires us in our own writing on theory and research. “What We’re Reading” presents our brief summaries of the findings of recent publications in field education. Our emphasis is on implications for practice. Readers are encouraged to suggest articles or books for future review. Whenever possible, we have provided links to freely available full-text articles.
News & Notes
First, many thanks to Emmie Homonoff, Editor of the Field Educator, for inviting me to share information regarding the CSWE Council on Field Education (COFE) through this important electronic venue! My goal is to help inform readers of Field Council and related CSWE activities.
CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) and Commission on Accreditation (COA) has released the second draft of the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for public review, comment, and feedback. Feedback on Draft 2 opens on March 14, 2014 and will close on May 16, 2014.
Field educators Cindy Hunter, Julia Moen and Miriam Raskin are coeditors of Social Work Field Directors: Foundations for Excellence, published by Lyceum Books.
A list of upcoming Field Education conferences/symposia and calls for papers around the country.
I was an English major for my undergraduate studies at a large private college in the Boston area. I had two internships in different sections of the publishing industry. After graduating with a BA in English in 2009, I was hired for my first “real world” job as an editorial assistant for a nationally recognized medical journal. I stayed at this job for three years and fine-tuned my proofreading, editing, project management, and organizational skills. However, I felt trapped by the gray walls of my cubicle and an endless barrage of emails being my only contact with the outside world. I craved face-to-face connection. I dreamed of using my dedication, determination, and studiousness to create real change in our society. I was a psychology minor during undergrad but never thought it would go anywhere because I only enjoyed the “people side” of psychology and not the “science side” of the inner workings of the brain and pathologizing diagnoses. I mentioned to my therapist at the time that I was considering a career change. She suggested that I look into the social work field.
In my first year of field placement as a master’s of social work student, I interned at a local hospital. In the second semester, I stayed specifically in the trauma ICU, and to some extent, the ER, places of high emotional stress for social workers and nurses due to the near-constant exposure to the effects of trauma and death (Adams & Riggs, 2008; Badger et al., 2008; Bride, Jones, & Macmaster, 2007; Dane & Chachkes, 2003; Dominguez-Gomez & Ruteledge, 2009). I was concerned that I would be negatively affected by this experience, so I started researching the negative effects of working in a helping capacity with traumatized individuals for one of my classes. This is when I first discovered the concept of compassion fatigue, which is related to burnout and to secondary traumatic stress as well as vicarious trauma (Dane & Chachkes, 2003; Figley, 1999; Noushadd, 2008; Stamm, 2010). According to Stamm (2010), compassion fatigue consists of both burnout and secondary traumatic stress, and thus has symptoms of exhaustion, frustration, anger, and depression, as well as negative feelings driven by fear and work‐related trauma. Signs of compassion fatigue can include insomnia, physical/emotional exhaustion, a diminished sense of enjoyment, irritability, and avoidance (Figley, 1995).
Abstract: This essay argues that social work field curricula should encourage students to view their placement settings as sites of culture and should adapt tools and insights from anthropology to improve the educational value of the field experience. Students in the field occupy an insider-outsider role in their placement sites that fosters a distinctive and valuable point of view. Unfortunately, many resulting experiences and insights are not adequately processed in assigned reflective writing and supervision contexts. Anthropologists record their field impressions in ethnographic field notes, which subsequently become data for reflective and analytic processing, a method that can be usefully adapted to social work education.
This speech was delivered by Deborah Winters of the University of Southern California, at the 2013 CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, Texas. In it, Ms. Winters honors her colleague, Nancy Jefferson Mance, recipient of NANFED’s 2013 Heart of Social Work Award. –Editor’s Note
Field Educator is made possible by the Arnold & Irma Bloom '51SW Fund for SSW.