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MSW Autobiographical, Healthcare Disparities

I have been working as a Social Worker in long term care for the past 4 years. One of the most prominent patients that stands out in my mind serves for me as a frame of reference for why I am fully dedicated to my short term goal of earning the MSW Degree: so that I can learn to be a better advocate for my patients, and to be in a better position to help them. One of the residents in our facility was discharged, which was not my decision. She came to me crying because she did not want to leave, fearing that she would be abused or neglected by her children. Her insurance had cut her off and I was told that there was nothing that I or anyone else could do. She cried all day long that day. The following day, prior to her discharge, she died.

After completing high school and entering the working world, I became a Certified Nurse’s Assistant and was soon working in private care as well as nursing homes. Not long after I began working as a CNA, I began to feel like a lot of the residents in my facility were not provided with adequate attention. I very much enjoyed discussing this issue at length with one of the residents, a very alert, smart, and sensitive 95-year-old retired physician, Frederick XXXX. He encouraged me to go back to school in nursing so that down the road I would be able to have greater say in nursing care and help to augment the levels of attention that residents are given. Thus, this resident was very inspiring to me and I went on to obtain my associates degree. Once I had my Associates Degree in Nursing then I felt inspired to go forward and obtain my bachelors degree. But I switched career tracks and earned my BSW instead of my BSN because I felt in my heart that the social work degree would prepare me to do more, to make a greater contribution to the needy residents with whom I have worked and the clients that I have had the privilege of helping so far.

Finishing my BSW made me feel very proud of myself and, at first, I thought that I had reached my permanent professional goal. But as time went on I began to realize that I still did not have much of a voice and there was nothing that I could do to help especially vulnerable residents like the lady mentioned above who died on the day of her mandatory discharge, a noble woman who had worked her entire professional life as a school teacher, this client will always be with me. She is now one of the primary inspirations behind my application to study towards and earn the MSW Degree at XXXX University. I want very much to obtain my masters degree so that I will be prepared to engage in research concerning our most vulnerable residents in America’s nursing homes, especially in Eastern Tennessee. I want to contribute not only to research but also the outcome, participation in the creation of services to protect those people who cannot speak or are no longer able to protect themselves especially the elderly.

I would say that my first and most prominent role model was my grandmother, Virginia XXXX, because I feel like she saved me from foster care and was the only person who ever cared for me enough to have patience with me. I can never thank my “resident physician” Frederick Billings for encouraging me as well. I can still hear his voice telling me that I was much smarter than I realized. Finally, my faith in God has greatly increased over the course of the last decade, incrementally, resulting in an increasing sense of dignity and empowerment that comes from devotion to the most vulnerable among us, as was our Lord, in whose footsteps we rise every day and seek to walk.

I would like to share in designing, creating and operating programs specifically designed for individuals that are falling through the cracks in the system, especially our healthcare system.  I have been a witness to the many changes in insurance policy and how these changes often have a negative effect on residents and their families. Not only does the resident have to worry about illness and how to recover, but they have to worry about the cost and if they will lose their home to the government. And this stress has a negative impact on their chances for recovery. I was a witness to many residents being discharged to the community who were still very much in need of assistance simply because they were told that they had hit a plateau and their insurance will no longer pay. I think it would be much better if we could discharge applicants not on the basis insurance guidelines, but, rather, on when it was in their best interests to discharge them.

I have also been witness to many young adults placed in long term care who want very much to discharge to the community despite their disability, but they are unable to do so because of a lack of community resources and I hope to have the opportunity to work to change this. I have also seen residents discharge to the community, only to be in the hospital days later, and then return to the nursing home in a continuous cycle. My professional dream is to provide services that include educating the community concerning insurance policy so that they are better able to plan for the care of their loved ones. I want to empower members of my community and help to make sure that they realize that they do indeed have a voice in the many changes that are taking place and how important it is to use that voice by voting and asking questions concerning where a candidate stands with respect to the care of individuals with disabilities. I also want to empower and educate healthcare workers concerning the design and operation of group homes so as to meet the healthcare needs of these vulnerable members of our community.

I have a great passion for serving the needs of mature adults with disabilities or impairments. My own background contributes to my well-developed sense of empathy and concern for the voiceless since I grew up from the age of 2-12 in foster care in Los Angeles, CA. My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was new to the country from Nigeria and did not have the resources to care for me. I was lost in the system and went through many foster homes, until my grandmother, 65 years old, agreed to take me and provide me a stable home. Due to what I been through I was angry and bitter, and generally felt hopeless, but my grandmother continued to be there for me through it all, and because of that, I am not just a person that was in foster care with a drug addicted mother, I grew up to be a social worker that would give back to the community. I hope to someday create my own non-profit that labors to meet the needs of at-risk individuals who suffer from a lack of resources and services in our healthcare system.

Now having spent 4 years with a Metro Nashville Health and Rehab facility with 419 residents I have learned a great deal about the health care challenges of many groups with special needs including mental health issues, HIV & AIDS, Veterans with PTSD, etc. Nothing has brought me greater joy than assisting the resident with Medicaid applications, applying for SSI and disability—always staying abreast of changes and developments in these areas.

I have also been active as a volunteer for many years in the community, especially anything having to do with health care and our most needy residents. I helped to created a non-profit called A Hand for Care Givers to boost the morale of health workers. First a survey was created to assess how they felt their lives at work may be improved, from that survey services such as an education fair were create by partnering with the different colleges in the community to come and setup an discuss programs that they offer. I also helped with other fairs promoting health care resources and partnerships as well as volunteer fairs. I went with my church to my father’s homeland of Kenya in 2011 working to rebuild schools. I have also served as a volunteer in Bangkok, Thailand working with at risk children to prevent them from being sold into the sex trade.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished MSW Program XXXX University.

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For almost two decades now, I have supported myself and my family by helping applicants to graduate school draft eloquent and highly effective admission statements for degree programs BSW, MSW, DSW; and PHD. I am convinced that I have talent in this area as a bleeding heart, myself, a militant for healing and a lifelong learner; it is the stories of social workers that most intrigue me. Working on behalf of social workers keeps my heart engaged as well as my brain. 

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