Episode 117 - Kori Bloomquist: Social Worker Self-Care: Practice, Perceptions, and Professional Well-Being

Monday, April 15, 2013, 8:51:38 AM

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In this episode, Kori Bloomquist discusses research related to social worker self-care practice and perceptions, and professional well-being. Ms. Bloomquist describes social workers' reported self-care practices across five domains as well as their perceptions of self-care. She also discusses relationships between social worker self-care practices and perceptions and indicators of professional well-being, including compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout. Furthermore, Ms. Bloomquist talks about implications for social work education, practice, and research.

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Average Rating: 4.4 stars (66 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  insightful podcast, Monday, February 15, 2021

By Anonymous :

I found this podcast to be very insightful! I've always known that self-care was important especially in the social work profession however it was great to hear the research supporting this. I also really appreciated the time and effort that was put into this research study.

I found It very interesting that social workers encourage spirituality to their clients in practice but do not practice this themselves. Spirituality can be expressed in many different ways, I am surprised there were not significant findings in this area.

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Average Rating: 5stars  helpful to know, Thursday, April 16, 2020

By Jamie Francis :

While it is generally accepted knowledge that self care is good for us, I really enjoy that this podcast breaks it down into more specifics. When thinking of completing my own self-care, I generalize it-- as in "I need to do something nice for myself". Watching this has made me think more about what kind of self-care I am doing, so that I don't neglect a certain area.

I also found it very interesting that psychological self care was positively correlated with burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and intent to turnover. It made me wonder if there were other factors involved. Additionally, it was a great point that as social workers, we focus on helping our clients find meaning in their lives, but we often neglect to do so for ourselves as evidenced by spiritual self care being the lowest frequency of engagement). Great podcast!

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Average Rating: 4stars  re: supporting education on self-care for social workers , Friday, February 07, 2020

By Heather R. :

I felt compelled to explore the findings and potential guidance pertaining to the practice and observations around self-care in this podcast because I am becoming increasingly passionate about the topic of self-care. As a child welfare worker, I am curious about the possible positive impacts of increased self-care on the retention and well-being of frontline workers. Stylistically, the podcast was reasonably paced, upbeat and well structured, providing a detailed look into the relationship between social worker self-care practices, insights and how they relate to specific indicators of professional well-being (compassion fatigue (CS), secondary traumatic stress (STS), burnout, and intent to leave). Interviewer, Elaine Hammond, demonstrated respect and genuine curiosity toward the interviewee Kori Bloomquist’s work and findings. The inquisitive exchange provided an in-depth narrative regarding the study, including specifics on participant selection and demographic representation, anticipated and unexpected quantitative findings as well as hopeful next steps, such as potential qualitative research. Bloomquist's study looks to provide better research into worker longevity and job satisfaction. Her findings provide insight into what could become a potential workforce crisis. Specifically, she reported CS improves with increased self-care activities. This is important since CS has been shown to improve worker longevity, agency sustainability and client outcomes (Bride & Figley, 2007). In strong and hope-filled concluding statements, Bloomquist encourages a more deliberate focus on the education of self-care to address worker satisfaction and longevity while emphasizing that self-care is congruent with the NASW Code of Ethics, human rights and trauma-informed perspective that support and guide social work practice.

Bride, B. & Figley, C. (2007). The fatigue of compassionate social workers. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(3), 151-153

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care thoughts, Monday, May 06, 2019

By Leyna Johnson Nguyen :

This was a very eye-opening. I hope to use this information in my future career.

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Average Rating: 4stars  valuable information for social work professionals, Sunday, May 05, 2019

By Michelle Cutter :

This podcast provides some great research findings on how important self care really is for social workers and those in the helping profession. After listening to this podcast, I think that supervisors and directors of agencies need to be educated on this and help self care be implemented more. High turnover is often a problem among these agencies and more self care practice could really change this.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care, Saturday, May 04, 2019

By Alyssa Kramer :

This was a very interesting podcast to listen to. The research that was discussed throughout the podcast truly interested me and highlighted several important points that we should be very aware of. Throughout various courses, we are continuously reminded of the importance of self-care. While the podcast discussed many different areas of the study, the one aspect of the study that stood out to me was the gap that was found in regards to employers encouraging employees to practice self-care. However, while employers valued self-care, they did not provide employees with strategies or ideas for self-care. I think this is an important finding for employers to know and act upon.
I can understand why, at times, some people may view self-care as just something else to do and add to their list but we need to approach this idea differently and acknowledge the importance of self-care, especially as social workers.

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Average Rating: 5stars  review of episode 117, Saturday, April 27, 2019

By Sonya :

I found this podcast, discussing a quantitative study on self-care among social workers, fascinating. I look forward to reading the study in full to learn more on the researcher’s distinction between psychological, emotional, spiritual, and professional self-care domains. What I found most interesting is that the researchers discovered participants did not rate spiritual domains and to some extent psychological domains, as buffers against compassion fatigue and intent to turnover. I would have imagined these domains would make a marginal difference. I also found it interesting that participants found self-care important, but did not feel their MSW programs or employers taught skills for self-care, which speaks to a need for an emphasis on self-care in MSW programs and at the workplace.

I appreciate Kori Bloomquist’s discussion on self-care as a necessary practice for a clinician in upholding the NASW value of competence. Further, Kori Bloomquist suggests that to value dignity and worth of an individual, also an NASW value, a practitioner must value their own worth and dignity, self-care being one way to do so.
I could not agree more and found this podcast to be a good reminder of the importance of self-care.

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Average Rating: 4stars  social worker self-care, Wednesday, April 24, 2019

By Sarah Zinni :

I found this podcast extremely insightful and helpful. It brought to light various indicators and significant factors of social worker's stress, burnout, and turnover intentions. One comment that resonated with me was the idea of self-care being an extra requirement or one more task to complete. At times in my own education and professional career I have felt exactly like that. Self-care is constantly being mentioned and taught throughout my classes but, it becomes overwhelming when you haven't found practices that work well or easily. I found myself stressed about not having a way to reduce my stress. I can understand how post MSW experience and practicing different domains of self-care can decrease negative responses. Another point that I found very interesting was when discussing intentions to leave one's current job there were also social and economic factors that contributed to the decision. This is not surprising as salary and interactions at work also contribute to one's satisfaction with their job. Overall, I enjoyed this podcast and the unique findings and implications that it yielded. I believe that with further research and exploration, self-care perceptions will improve and all employers will promote and utilize self-care practices.

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Average Rating: 4stars  compassion satisfaction , Sunday, April 21, 2019

By susan bhuiyan :

I thought this podcast was great. I think there was a lot of focus on compassion satisfaction and this really spoke to me because I have been employed in places where this was not practiced and it made a huge impact on job satisfaction and goals. This podcast is beneficial for any person who is seeking ways to understand how to ensure that they maintain self care.

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Average Rating: 5stars  social worker self-care, Monday, April 15, 2019

By Holly Connors :

This was an interesting and insightful podcast about social worker self-care. The research showed that there was a gap in social work agencies because employers highly valued self-care, but they did not encourage or teach their employees how to engage in self-care practices at work. This is an interesting finding and implication for social work agencies and supervisors. Another interesting finding was that the highest perceived barrier to self-care was professional responsibility. This, again, shows that social work agencies and employers need to promote self-care activities and teach employees how to engage in self-care at work. The research also indicated that higher engagement in self-care practices and higher well-being had positive outcomes for the agency and the clients.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care perceptions and realities at work, Thursday, March 07, 2019

By Jessica J Brown :

What struck me about this podcast discussion was the stark difference between respondent perceptions of employer's value of self-care versus the perception of teaching and acting on that value with employees. I have wrestled with this idea as a supervisor and as a worker.

Highlighting the fact that self-care is the application of the social work value of "dignity and worth of the person" to oneself and one's staff was another helpful takeaway from this podcast. Thank you for publishing InSocialWork!

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Average Rating: 5stars  msw self-care study, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

By G. Beach :

I thought that this was an impressive piece of research. From the number of study participants, to the multiple instruments utilized to gain valuable data, it is clear that much thought, time and effort went into bringing this research to life. As someone who is still a bit afraid of research, but in awe of it at the same time, I found that Ms. Bloomquist had a great way of talking through the various research steps in a way that was easy to follow. I think it is very important to look at areas such as burnout, intent to turnover and compassion satisfaction as they impact individual practitioners, schools of social work, working professionals as well as those individuals, families and systems that rely on the social work role. I was fascinated by some of the findings and somehow thought that spiritual self -care might play a bigger role as a predictor of compassion satisfaction. For me, this podcast helped in a tangible way to reinforce the importance of practice informed research and research informed practice. Thank you for sharing this valuable study.

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Average Rating: 5stars  importance of self-care practices., Thursday, January 31, 2019

By Anonymous :

I was immediately drawn to this podcast due to the topic of self-care. As a foundation year social work student entering my second semester, self-care is a habit I am consistently trying to develop. I especially connected with Ms. Bloomquist's statement of social workers thinking of self-care as "another thing to add to the list". This statement especially represented my first semester of my MSW as I was hyper-focused on getting and staying ahead of my school work, not taking the time to take substantial breaks. Even my short breaks were not spent doing fulfilling activities, instead just staring into space until it was time to get back to work. This method very frequently led to burn out, anxiety and depression.

This podcast was helpful as it was able to put into perspective of the importance of self-care and the negative health effects not taking the time to take care of your well-being. Although it can be difficult to remember, I'm grateful for my department's focus on self-care. In comparison to other helping professions, I have discovered that other school's programs have never mentioned the importance of self-care, which is troubling. Self-care is important for emotional and physical health, along with continuing to maintain professional decorum. It can lead to less burnout and fewer instances of frequent employee turnover when we are so essential to the community.

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Average Rating: 5stars  review, Friday, August 03, 2018

By Christina Johnson :

One thing that has stuck to me that we said in one of my courses was that as social workers, we should live a life, personal and professional, which we do not need to escape from. The idea of a need to escape can be so normalized, as if it is okay to work and take such little care of ourselves while we do it that we need to get away. It is so normalized that from time to time I can forget that it is possible to work hard, but not so hard where I do not feel constantly overwhelmed or like I’ll never be able to catch up.

This was motivating to start self-care now and stop thinking “I just need to catch up and then I’ll start self-care!” Kori Bloomquist discusses research which she participated in, where she touches on the need from MSW programs to teach self-care, as many MSW programs stated that they valued it yet their students did not feel it was taught. This podcast states there is importance in self-care, and says that the more often we do it as students, the more likely we are to do it as social workers in the future.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care in social work practice, Wednesday, August 01, 2018

By Amanda Ajaeb :

I thought that this podcast was very informative on the importance of self-care in the social work profession. I appreciated Ms. Bloomquist's statement of how some social workers who are just beginning in the field may think of self-care as "another thing to add to the list" of things to do. Personally, I have learned a great deal about different ways to practice self-care, and even though social workers may have to take some time to implement these practices, I feel that it will be beneficial to their overall health in order to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue. This podcast was also relevant because practitioners in different settings can utilize the findings of her study, and apply it to their own field of study.

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Average Rating: 4stars  helpful information for those getting started in the field , Wednesday, August 01, 2018

By Aleena :

Very insightful podcast. I found the data that showed a difference between schools and employers in the way that they teach and encourage self care to be very interesting. I also found it helpful to hear that establishing a specific self care regimen as a student supports ongoing self-care throughout ones career.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self care for swers , Monday, July 30, 2018

By Heidi Epting :

I really enjoyed this podcast by Kori Bloomquist. It was so interesting to hear her findings about self-care, particularly the thoughts regarding intent to turnover. I have witnessed a lot of turnover in some of the different jobs in the field I have had and I really enjoyed learning about the different thoughts that can precede intent to turnover. While self-care should be a regular practice, when we are able to recognize thoughts that lead us to intent to turnover, we can begin to fight them. This might mean stepping up our self-care, taking some time off, or asking for extra supervision. The value of self-care is significant and has personally helped me even in my personal life as I tend to get anxious and overwhelmed easily. I also found it interesting how spiritual self-care was so low in the findings of Bloomquist's study. Personally, spirituality is a very common practice in my self-care routine but can understand how it may not be in others. I do wonder how the study might have gone with a more diverse sample. Overall, however, the podcast was very informative about self-care from a more scholarly and scientific perspective and simply continues to drive home the importance of self-care in our daily lives.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the importance of self-care, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

By Alex F :

I found this podcast to be helpful in better understanding social workers’ practice and perceptions of self-care. According to the research conducted, professional self-care engagement is predictive of less burnout, less turnover, and more compassion satisfaction. At the end of the podcast, Kori states that she hopes listeners will take away the following: that social workers value self-care and think it’s important; however, a gap exists between perceived value and teaching how to engage in self-care effectively. For this reason, Kori asserts that although self-care is ultimately a personal journey, teaching self-care in both the classroom and the field is imperative. I agree with Elaine that students often see self-care as a burden because I have felt this way myself; however, I also recognize the importance of regularly incorporating self-care into my daily living. I think UB has done a decent job at teaching its students the value of self-care and methods for engagement. As someone who is about to graduate, I have appreciated this. For any new students in the program, I would encourage you to take every opportunity you can to learn about self-care from your professors, and practice practice practice. If it’s true that we’re more likely to continue practicing self-care in the professional world if we start to incorporate self-care while we are in school, you will be very glad that you did. Not only do we personally benefit, but our clients stand to benefit, too.

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Average Rating: 4stars  importance of self care, Friday, August 04, 2017

By Erin Roelle :

I wanted to share that I agree that self-care is important in every aspect of social work. In my training in this program at UB I have begun to understand the importance of self-care not only in my professional career but also in my personal life. It was mentioned that individuals that implement self-care activities while in school are more likely to continue those methods of self-care out of school and into practice. In my professional development class, we have had multiple opportunities to engage in different practices of self-care. I have worked really hard to keep up on my self-care but I understand the importance in its use not only for myself but for the work I do with my clients in the future and my relationships with family and friends.

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Average Rating: 5stars  so important for social workers!, Friday, August 04, 2017

By Elizabeth Sullivan :

This was a great podcast for anyone looking to create a discipline of self care in their professional practice. As social workers, we are constantly putting the needs of others before our own. This podcast gives concrete evidence for why it is important for us to care for ourselves. Doing so creates healthier individuals, agencies and ultimately, better social work practice. Specifically, I appreciate this podcasts identification of spirituality in self care, as it is often thought to be less of a legitimate part of us as other areas of the bio-psycho-social wellbeing. I feel so lucky to have attended an MSW program that values self-care and encourages healthy habits as we enter the professional world.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care, Tuesday, August 01, 2017

By Sara :

I enjoyed listening to this interview because it was engaging and valuable information pertaining to the social work field currently. I was surprised by many of the results especially the finding regarding "psychological self-care and the increase of intent to turnover". Poor conditions at work may create a barrier for treatment in therapy and also to practicing mindfulness. Therefore, if I were truly working towards bettering myself through psychological and emotional engagement at some point I would feel like leaving my position could led to a better self. As Bloomquist notes in the interview; "you cant help others without helping yourself first" and the positive effects that are passed along to the agency, staff, and most importantly the clients is exponentially beneficial. I also agree that universities are equipped with teaching the idea of self-care but are less effective at teaching how to practice self-care in everyday life. This research is important to the field of social work and advancing knowledge regarding practice and perceptions of self-care for agencies, staff, and clients.

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Average Rating: 5stars  episode 117, Tuesday, July 25, 2017

By Renae M. :

Emotional Self-Care and burnout prevention are a few things that have been strongly emphasized this semester. This was a very helpful reminder, especially since my semester is coming to a close and I will be graduating in a few weeks. Last week, my field supervisor asked me what I planned on doing post graduation with all of my free time. I responded by saying I would get a second part time job, since I will not have to do homework or have my internship. My supervisor stressed the importance of not overworking oneself and providing yourself with the opportunity to relax and separate your mind from your work. This podcast reminded me of that conversation and it is a great reminder for that we all need time away from work or a way to escape the stress.

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Average Rating: 5stars  corporate - pay attention!, Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Cali :

This podcast is very informative as students move towards becoming professionals. Self-care has been emphasized throughout my schooling but has not been emphasized during my field placements or employment settings. This is an excellent reminder that we need to focus on our professional well being as we progress in our career, for if we are not able to support ourselves, how will we support our clients? I have seen the burnout and turnover in the field and the agency I work for has responded with the development of a self-care committee that does a new self-care activity every Monday during lunch. It is a beautiful thing when corporate takes notice to studies like these.

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Average Rating: 5stars  informative data, Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By D. Murch :

I enjoyed listening to the podcast and appreciated the utility of the information that was offered. The discovery that beginning self-care as a student is meaningful to me as I end my social work program. I was grateful to hear that the longer you are in the profession the more likely you are to stay. Understanding that increasing professional knowledge is an motivator not only to give clients the best care, but also know that it improves my personal perception of the work I do. this podcast made me consider ways that I can improve my self-care routine as well as increase the amount of self-care that is available in my agency. Overall this podcast shared data that can impact personal self-care practices immediately. I'm off to get a piece of chocolate now!

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care, Monday, May 08, 2017

By Rebecca Holmes :

I found it helpful that types of self-care can be differentiated, such as emotional and professional self-care. I feel strongly that emotional self-care is just as important as professional self-care. I have experienced many workers who feel its necessary to ignore their emotions instead of being in touch with negative emotions so that they can be addressed. Employers with high turn-over likely have opportunities for how they can implement self-care as a fixture of their work protocols.

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Average Rating: 5stars  episode 117 review, Thursday, May 04, 2017

By Bill Strassner :

This podcast was very informative. It is amazing to learn how many programs and people value self care. She talks about how many Social Work school programs stress self care, She also mentions that respondents feel that their MSW programs, even though they stressed self-care, they do not do very well at teaching how to go about self-care. This can be very difficult for students who are already overwhelmed by school, jobs, and a variety of other factors in life. In regards to the professional realm self care is not stressed as much and people feel that it is taught even less. That can be very difficult for employees, especially newer employees who are just learning the system and need to make sure that they take care of themselves first so that they can then do good work with their clients. We need to find a way to better teach self-care in school programs and the workplace because self-care is the first step in having good social work practice.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self care, Monday, May 01, 2017

By Gillian Dunsmuir :

I thought it was really important that this podcast highlighted the overlook from students in regards to self care assignments because as a student myself, I can absolutely say that sometimes we may take these assignments for granted, but in reality these are excellent opportunities to practice self care. Social work assignments on self-care can help students get into the regular habit of healthy practice, physically, mentally and spiritually, while identifying what works well and what does for our busy lifestyles and should not be taken for granted but instead embraced as an excellent opportunity for development!

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care perceptions and practice, Saturday, April 29, 2017

By Sarah Murphy :

As the interviewee discusses, perception of self-care practice is one of the greatest indicators of professional well-being (including negative measures such as secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and intent to turnover). In her team's’ research, they found that 94 percent of respondents (n = 786) stated that they value self-care, while 64 percent indicated that their MSW program values self-care; however, far less found that their program taught them how to engage in self-care practices. Similarly, as discussed in the interview, about half of the study’s respondents said that their employer values self-care, but less than a quarter felt that their employer taught them how to effectively engage in self-care practice. Therefore, there appears to be a disconnect between the perceived value of self-care and teaching of effective self-care practice. This was something that I encountered with some of my classmates during my first year in the MSW program; the importance of self-care was well understood, but the process of putting self-care into practice was hazy.

Given the impact that self-care practices, as well as compassion satisfaction, have on worker longevity, employee continuity, and client outcomes, promoting effective self-care practices should be of utmost importance to social work educators and employers. I appreciate the contribution Bloomquist and her team has made in their research on self-care perceptions and practice, and I look forward to seeing more focus on this topic in the years to come.

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Average Rating: 5stars  thank you, Saturday, April 22, 2017

By Clare M :

Very informative and thought provoking study. I enjoyed the discussion around spiritual self-care. As a resident of a rural community, I can understand the conflict that arises while engaging in community activities. Mindfullness and spirituality practices have been key components to my self-care as a full time MSW student. I have thoroughly benefitted from the exercises Professor Hammond engages us in to strenghten these qualities. Thank you!

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care is key!!, Friday, April 07, 2017

By Anonymous :

I absolutely loved the discussion on implementing Dignity and Worth to our own selves as well as our clients. I think that as social workers we forget about our own needs because we are taught that the client comes first, but it is so important that we place those values onto ourselves as well because if we burnout, then how helpful can we be? Great podcast.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review, Monday, May 02, 2016

By Emily LoBrutto :

Kori Bloomquist was very informative in regards to her study on self-care practice, perceptions, and professional well-being. I found it interesting that the web based survey was sent to candidates that were currently practicing SW and had their MSW. The majority of participants were Caucasian women which is generally what our classrooms consist of as well. Bloomquist found that there was less burnout when individuals practiced self care. The lowest frequency of self care was spiritual which was very interesting. I wonder if the answer would have been the same if this study was done 40 years ago. Social Workers that participate in mindfulness, setting goals, and their own form of therapy are less likely to experience burnout or turnover.

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Average Rating: 4stars  sw543, self-care podcast review , Friday, April 29, 2016

By Shannon Cole :

Throughout Kori Bloomquist's interview the one thing that stood out to me the most was professional well-being/self-care. It appears that in social work we assume everyone has been taught self-care often and yet when social workers are in the field self-care is rarely talked about. I agree with Bloomquist that agencies would benefit from having trainings/workshops for their employees on self-care. The more self-care discussions that happen in field the less vicarious trauma becomes an issue for those dealing with crisis intervention on a regular basis. As I am gearing up to graduate with my MSW in a couple weeks and starting my career I will continue my own self-care techniques and advocate for professional well-being at my agency.

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Average Rating: 4stars  importance of self-care, Monday, April 18, 2016

By Chelsea Crane :

This podcast was helpful as it explained the importance of maintaining compassion satisfaction in order to ward off burnout. When a social worker no longer feels a sense of purpose within their work, they may will lose the drive to press onward.

I found it interesting that their are great differences in the emphasis of self-care by the individuals, their social work school, and the employer. Although we may all verbally agree that self-care is important, routine enactment of such practices are not always emphasized.

This was a great podcast...tune in!

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Average Rating: 4stars  self care podcast review, Monday, April 18, 2016

By Emily Pleszewski :

I found this podcast to be very informative and having an interesting perspective on self-care. As a student who has almost completed her MSW program, I believe that I continue to be drilled with discussions surrounding self-care, yet sometimes the research behind why it should be practiced is lacking in class discussions. This podcast presented me with the research that I had been interested in learning about.

I think that the amount of participants that agreed to participate in the study provides for a good sample. One of the parts of the interview that got me thinking was the discussion around spiritual self-care and how individuals did not rate that as high as others. I too assumed that the percentages of individuals who engage in this practice may have been higher.

This podcast was great to listen too as I wrap up my last few weeks in my MSW program. Self-care is so important to the field and I believe that as students, practicing it now can help us to continue to engage in it once we are in the field.

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Average Rating: 5stars  informative and beneficial!, Monday, April 18, 2016

By Theresa Falandys :

I really enjoyed listening to Kori Bloomquist discuss her ideas, perspective and research about self-care The correlation between self-care and how it effects burn out rates is important to know as an emerging practitioner. What I found most fascinating is the engagement in psychological self-care is related to higher rates of burn out. This surprises me and makes me want to learn more about the relation. Overall, I think the podcast was informative and beneficial to listen to as I finish up my graduate studies.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review of podcast, Sunday, April 17, 2016

By Nikki Brunecz :

This was an extremely informative and interesting podcast regarding research of self care practices. This is a podcast all students should listen to. I found this to be extremely important, especially being so close to gaining my MSW. Majority of the information discussed in this podcast didn't surprise me regarding self care. What did surprise me is the discussion that professionals who participate in counseling have a higher turnover and burn out rate. I'm surprised to hear this and plan on exploring this further. In my internship at an outpatient mental health clinic, I have often found myself thinking that if this was my permanent job I would partake in counseling as well because of the high rate of stress and trauma associated with the position.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care, Tuesday, April 12, 2016

By Kyle Reiser :

I am intrigued by the research on self-care and find the data to be quite telling. It seems to me that more organizations would be investing in materials, time, and education into the self-care of its workers. With the burnout and notions of compassion and positive view of work, it seems to me that it is a worthwhile investment. I appreciated the remarks on practitioners having to take care of their own needs in their drive of promoting dignity and worth for all.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care, Monday, March 14, 2016

By Nicole :

One thing that stuck out to me is when she stated that self-care is a requirement that gets added to the piles of things to do for most social workers. I do agree completely. Social workers focus so much on their client and occupation that unfortunately many times self-care gets put aside and disregard. I do agree that emotional and spiritual self-care is extremely vital for a social worker to remain "healthy" and to help maintain a positive state of mind.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care challenges..., Friday, May 08, 2015

By Alla :

It was informative to hear the views around self-care from 786 Master’s level Social Workers with an average of 10 years of practice experience, with an average age of 41. On this subject matter, this is a group I want to hear from - educated and experienced, with a significant sample providing reliability to the results.
Having discussed her group’s research results, Ms. Bloomquist together with Ms. Hammond, the interviewer, offered a number of future qualitative research options. In addition to acknowledging five significant predictors of lower levels of burnout, Kori Bloomquist debated that the more immediate onset of secondary traumatic stress may make self-care practice less significant, and that social and economic factors may impact intent to turnover. Of particular interest to me was the discussion around compassion satisfaction, bringing some light to the importance of building longevity into our careers with the potential to improve clients’ outcomes, while reducing the intent of turnover.
Most notably, I think this podcast successfully demonstrated challenges of self-care practice. While as practitioners in the field, we recognize the value of this concept on an intellectual level, we struggle with its consistent application, where innumerable amount of obstacles - present a conflict, and as Kori Bloomquist stated: “there is a gap”. Based on the research findings, 94% of participants placed a personal value on self-care practice, but the numbers were much lower when it came to self-care engagement taught by their program, or practiced by their employer.
Something that resonated deeply with me was Elaine Hammond’s reference to the “cognitive leap” that we as Social Workers often fail to make, when it comes to applying the same level of compassion we give to our clients, to ourselves. It reminded me of my own impairment –inability to make that leap.

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Average Rating: 4stars  student review, Tuesday, May 05, 2015

By Rachel Knapp :

From the perspective of a soon-to-graduate MSW student, this podcast and the research study discussed were very interesting. I can especially relate to the idea of there being a gap between the expressed importance of self-care by schools and employers when compared to how to actually incorporate self-care into practice and education. I hope that as more studies such as this one are published, we will learn more about self-care and its application for social workers. I was also surprised by the research finding that social workers who engaged in psychological self-care were more likely to experience burnout. I would love to see further investigation into this. Overall, the podcast was very informative!

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Average Rating: 5stars  great episode, Monday, May 04, 2015

By Stacy Wilson :

I enjoyed listening to Ms. Bloomquist talk about her research. It was interesting to note the quantitative data behind self care perceptions and practice, and how that relates to burnout, turnover, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction. I especially appreciate how Ms. Bloomquist frames one’s self care as embodying the dignity and worth of yourself so that you may honor the dignity and worth of your clients.

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Average Rating: 4stars  sw 543 final assignment, Monday, May 04, 2015


It is an interesting research review. The research about the relationship between self-care practices and professional well being is good to know. As a professional social worker, the importance of the self-care is good to be noticed.

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Average Rating: 4stars  interesting about compassion satisfaction, Saturday, May 02, 2015

By Molly Heffernan :

In this podcast, Kori Bloomquist discusses her research pertaining to self-care, and its applications in the field of social work. There are several domains that she discusses, but I found that of compassion satisfaction to be most interesting and valuable on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. Kori defines compassion satisfaction as the pleasure derived from helping others, and shares that this is a key component to professional wellbeing. According to Kori, higher compassion satisfaction is correlated to positive self-care perception, as well as the engagement in emotional and professional self-care activities.

Further, higher compassion satisfaction has been linked to worker longevity, which indicates to me, a more positive experience for workers. In addition, however, longer worker longevity is positive for agencies as there is less turnover, meaning that less money is spent training new workers. As well, worker longevity has been linked to more satisfied client outcomes.

Therefore, these positive implications for social workers, agencies, and clients suggest that we should find ways to support and enhance compassion satisfaction.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self-care, Wednesday, April 29, 2015

By Alyssa Hancock :

I found this podcast to be extremely informative seeing as I am just two weeks shy of graduating with my MSW. I was not too surprised with a lot of study's findings, however, it did shock me that engaging in psychological self-care was actually associated with higher rates of burnout. I am curious as to why this might be and am interested in learning more about the topic. I was also surprised that only 1/4 of the study's respondents reported that their employers taught them how to engage in self-care. This definitely demonstrates a gap that needs to be addressed going forward, especially in human service agencies. As mentioned in the podcast, "in order to take care of others you have to take care of yourself".

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Average Rating: 4stars  importance of self-care, Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Marlana Howard :

Great interview with some very important take away pieces. Most importantly I thought that Dr. Bloomquist uncovered some interesting findings when noting that the number one reason for not practicing self-care was the Social Workers work load. As a soon to be MSW, this will be important for me to keep in mind and prioritize self-care especially in the first few years following graduate school.

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Average Rating: 4stars  interesting, Tuesday, April 21, 2015

By Lindsay Payne :

I found this podcast to be very interesting for many reasons. One thing that surprised me was the finding that social workers who engaged in psychological self-care (i.e. mindfulness and counseling) scored higher on those factors related to burnout and turnover. It would be very interesting to learn more about why this is occurring. I liked the possible explanation given regarding these working being more in touch with certain factors, but I agree that more qualitative research is necessary. I wonder if people who engage in psychological self-care are doing so because they are experiencing more stress than their peers who do not use this type of self-care... or what the relationship is. Very interesting. I look forward to hearing about more research in this important topic area.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care, Sunday, April 19, 2015

By Anni Gruttadaro :

I was not surprised to find that more experience, higher income rates, and availability of raises protects against employee turnover. If individuals are treated well, they will be more open and available to being compassionate and engaged in their work, and less likely to leave a job they enjoy and are valued at. We treat clients with compassion, so we need to treat ourselves this way also. I think this study would be beneficial for health care and human service agency employers to listen to also, as it might instill some ideas of how to help employees feel good about the work they do by emphasizing professional self-care practices in their agency’s’ community. Individuals and agencies can reap many benefits from self-care practices, and I think new socials workers having this knowledge can be helpful at the start of their careers, which can be stressful in itself. I think it is valuable to continue to study this topic.

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Average Rating: 4stars  good topic to discuss, Friday, April 17, 2015

By Brianna Velepec :

I found this topic and research study very informative to listen to. I found that it was interesting that spirituality did not rate very high among respondents. Spiritual self care was rated lowest compared to others. I found this surprising because it was not what I would expect. I wonder if this study was done years ago if it would of been different? Overall I think this podcast applies to all MSW workers

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Average Rating: 4stars  interesting study, Friday, April 17, 2015

By Travis Atwater :

This was a pretty interesting study and I feel that self-care is spoke about often yet it may not be taken as seriously as it should. At UB it is talked about in almost every social work class to some degree or another. I was not surprised by the fact that the more experience one has the less likely they are to burn out, it makes sense that if you have experience then you have been in the field for a while hence you have found a self-care routine that works for you. I did find it interesting that spirituality was almost inconsequential. I think this is worth further study.

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Average Rating: 5stars  social work self care, Wednesday, April 15, 2015

By Amanda Brew :

I found this podcast to be very interesting and informative to me. What did not surprise me was the large percentage suggesting that self-care is taught while completion of a masters degree in Social Work. I have been educated on the importance of self-care from many professors and just as Ms. Blomquist states, many of us have begun to view self-care talk to be a burden or another assignment to put on their plate. I can understand that the newer social workers in the field are experiencing more burnout due to simply an over-stimulation of being new in the field, overwhelmed with the adjustment into a new job, and the personal pressure to do well at their job. I also think that perhaps the older population of social workers have been able to manage their self-care more efficiently which makes burnout more preventative for this population.

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Average Rating: 4stars  self care, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

By Denise Anderson :

What I think was intriguing about this podcast is that the researchers found that the more experience a Social Worker has, the lower their burnout level. This seems like the opposite would be true, that when a new graduate is entering the workforce, they would have a high level of motivation, whereas someone who has been out in the field for many years would be more fatigued. I guess I can understand that new graduates have other mitigating factors that could contribute to burnout, such as the fact that they just finished school, and are worried about loans. Personally, I think it is easier to do self-care when one is working and not a student, than when one is a student, because you are never "done" with school for the day like you are with work. There are always assignments looming overhead. Personally, I feel guilty for doing something just for me, when I know I should be using the time to do homework. When you are working, you go home at 5:00 or whatever, and you don't have to worry about it until the next day.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self care importance, Monday, April 06, 2015

By Kayla Cooper :

This podcast delved into the topic of self care research specifically the gap between the knowledge of self care and the actual prep and behavior associated with it. I found this to be eye opening, but not altogether surprising. It is clear that increased self care is positively related to less burn out and more job satisfaction, but it is important in my opinion it is important for employers and professors to emphasize this as it is very easy for students and new grads to put self care on the back burner when dealing with new deadlines/other pressures. Overall this podcast brings to light some important issues because self care could also be related to how effective we are when we work with clients.

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Average Rating: 4stars  student review, Monday, March 30, 2015

By Irene Culpepper :

I could relate to the discussion around social work students resisting the perceived weight of self-care activities embedded in the curriculum. However, hearing about the gap this research team has discovered, regarding self-care and the teaching of it, I can fully support an MSW program driving home the importance of self-care. Hopefully many of these MSW students will be the ones providing self-care training in the workplace, which would address a problem area discovered in this study.
I also found it fascinating that there was limited attention to spiritual self-care among social workers. I would wonder if this is unrelated to social work as a profession, but just a shift in culture in general where spirituality is concerned. Of course, what activities individuals consider spiritual differ based on culture as well. Many of the respondents may have a higher level of spiritual self-care than what the study was able to measure. It would be interesting to explore this further in qualitative study, as Kori suggests. Overall, this was a very interesting podcast.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the importance of self-care, Friday, March 27, 2015

By Amber Hultgren :

What I found the most interesting in Dr. Bloomquist's podcast was the discussion with the interviewer about how self-care is taught and assigned to students. When it is considered an assignment, it is just another task on a long to-do list, and this becomes burdensome. However, I like the use of the term "opportunity". I think this relates to the increase in self-care associated with more years of practice. It is possible that after more years of practice, we as social workers stop seeing self-care as an additional to-do and start seeing it as a an opportunity for improving well-being and also improving practice. It would be helpful to teach students about the many benefits of self-care instead of making it sound to developing professionals like an obligation. The framing of self-care for MSW students is probably linked to the way that early professionals perceive and practice self-care.

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Average Rating: 5stars  social worker self care: practice, perceptions and professional well-being, Monday, May 05, 2014

By Kristin Gelia :

Overall, I felt the interview was very well done, and found the prospect of research and conceptualization of self-care intriguing. I especially thought that the interviewer and researcher did a wonderful job explaining the results of the research, as well as the practice implications for Social Workers entering the field. I also agreed with the researcher’s statement regarding that Social Work students often feel that having to engage in self-care activities seems like just another task that they are often asked to do. This is especially true, although I can’t think of a better way to teach students about the importance of self-care. I was also not surprised that burnout and self-care techniques are related, although I did find that the result indicating that burnout is higher among newer professional in the field very interesting. The podcast also made me feel hopeful that as we become more experienced in Social Work practice, we are also less likely to experience compassion fatigue and burnout, as well as the fact that self-care is multifaceted and appears to be unique to each person.

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Average Rating: 4stars  episode 117 review , Monday, May 05, 2014

By Stephanie V. :

I think that this podcast was very interesting as I see the urgent importance of self-care in the last of my graduate studies. I think that teaching self-care skills is very important but that it really needs to focus on the type of person and activities they specifically like. In the beginning of my masters in social work, a panel of students and teachers stated how they believed that exercise was the best self-care. Although this is true, I also feel that the research done on self-care should be modified to focus on personality types and field of interests with coinciding ideas and strategies surround self-care. I think that it this was a good podcast that would benefit other social workers. Social workers perception of themselves is an important point that I didnt really tie with self-care until I heard this podcast. Just as professional development is valued in our field, I think that the concept of self-care should also be a part of social work education.

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Average Rating: 5stars  importance of self care, Monday, May 05, 2014

By Amanda Frank :

This podcast shed light on the importance of engaging in self-care as social workers. What was interesting was that it was perception of self-care that was suggested in the research conducted by Bloomquist and colleagues to be associated with low burnout, lower secondary post-traumatic stress, lower intent of turnover, and compassion satisfaction. I found it interesting that it wasn't specific types of self-care that were found to be particularly important. I think this really speaks to the need to be aware and value self-care in whatever capacity each person feels is important individually. This podcast supports the idea that social work is not necessarily meant to be a selfless journey; rather it is a human one of coming alongside one another and agreeing we are worth investing in.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care and social work, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

By Dena DeFazio :

I really enjoyed this Podcast focusing on social worker self-care. The approach of this interview, based on quantitative research, was particularly interesting and afforded the listener a unique perspective on self-care. It was interesting to listen to the results of the study as well as potential ideas for future research. This podcast highlights the importance of actually teaching students and employees ways to utilize and engage in self-care. Although social workers may find self-care to be important, it is not helpful if they do not know or understand how to engage in it. Very interesting!

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Average Rating: 5stars  social work & self-care, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

By Essence Porter :

I appreciated this podcast and its attention to the relationship between social work self-care practice and social work self-care perception. I found it quite interesting that self-care perception was found to be the most predictive indicator in professional well-being. I was also intrigued by the following findings: self-care is related to increased levels of compassion satisfaction and the more time spent engaging in emotional and professional self-care, then the higher the level of optimism is with helping others. These findings really spoke to me—at this current point in time, I think it is so easy to become wrapped up in thought processes such as, “I need to find a job as soon as I graduate,” “I have to pay back these loans,” “I need a job that pays well,” etcetera, (especially right after graduation) that we forget to take care of ourselves and put many of our needs on hold/to the side. This podcast serves as a reminder; it is important to not only take care of ourselves, but to do so in different ways—spiritually, professionally, and emotionally. It is also comforting to know that the more years of social work experience are associated with lower levels of burnout.

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Average Rating: 4stars  social work self-care, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

By Chelsea McMinn :

This podcast was interesting because it allowed us to see how other students and professionals felt about self-care and how often they truly practice it. I would have to agree with the piece about being taught a whole lot about what self-care is and why it is so important, however we aren’t really taught HOW to do it. We are given suggestions and ideas and told that everyone has different preferences for de-stressing, relaxing and focusing, however we aren’t shown how we can do this within our work days or weeks or at all. I find it extremely hard, especially while working full time and completing 5 online masters courses to fit in any time for self-care. There are plenty of things I wish I could be doing or getting done, but there truly just isn’t the time.

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Average Rating: 4stars  episode 117-review, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

By Katie Burns :

I think this podcast stressed the importance of self-care. Self-care is so important in maintaining health relationships, social wellbeing, mental well being and over all well being. The school of social work at UB stresses self-care but this podcast emphaisis how cruical it is. I learned alot from this podcast. Something that I will be using for a long time in my personal life and professional life. I will also share with other clinical staff in the field and other professionals the importances of self-care. I also think that this information would be benefical for clients as well to promote thier own well-being.

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Average Rating: 3stars  sw 543 assignment, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Kristina C :

I think that the way self-care is taught is strange. I think that we already engage in self-care without being aware of it or identifying it as self-care. However when we label it self-care it loses something. In a way, I think that by stressing how self-care is necessary to be able to best serve clients sort of robs us of our enjoyment of our self-care activities. This podcast details the research they did on self-care and presents several questions to what we currently know about self-care. I would be interested to see how self-care differs for different people. I don't think that self-care is a one size fits all concept but I feel like that is what we are being taught most of the time.

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Average Rating: 4stars  sw 543 review, Sunday, April 13, 2014

By Geraldine E. :

I thought that the podcast was very interesting. The podcost discussed the relationship between social workers’ self-care practice and social workers’ self-care perception. There were two things that really stuck out to me while listening to the podcast. The first thing was when Professor Syms mentioned that social workers are usually educated about the importance of self-care in the beginning of their education/career at things like orientation. This stood out because of the frequency in which the importance of self-care is discussed. I think that if the importance of self-care was constantly reiterated to students throughout their career it may be beneficial. I know that UB students receive emails about self-care activities and information but I notice a lack of it in field placement. I think that agencies should collaborate more with students and work on how self-care practice can be improved. This idea brings me to my next point. A comment was made in the podcast that one perception from social workers on self-care is that they see it as another requirement to fulfill rather than a necessary action to take to ensure performance and heath. I thought this was interesting because I never really perceived self-care to be that way. I just never had the time to practice it. I think self-care is so important because without it burnout will occur and overall effectiveness in the work and personal field would suffer.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self-care in social work, Sunday, April 13, 2014

By Shannon Lynch :

This podcast highlights the perceptions of social work self care, turnover, and compassion satisfaction among MSW graduates currently working in the field. The research sample is far reaching among practitioners across the United States and revealed interesting information relating to the value of self-care. The vast majority of respondents value self-care and try to incorporate this through their career. Self-care is related to fewer feelings of burnout, fewer ideas of turnover, and a higher rate of compassion satisfaction. Self-care was also related to the number of years since graduating from the MSW program. Practitioners with more experience in the field valued and practiced self-care more frequently than those with fewer years of experience. In my opinion, one of the most interesting findings of this study was that self-care was related to higher amounts of compassion satisfaction. This may be one of the most important reasons for me to practice self-care because I want to enjoy my job and the work I am doing in the community. This podcast details very interesting findings around self-care and the perceptions of this in the social work community.

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Average Rating: 4stars  important topic to learn, Saturday, April 05, 2014

By Anonymous :

I have been hearing a lot about self care lately as a student in the advanced standing MSW program and I think it is definitely a topic that should be practiced by social workers. I believe that all incoming freshman (and transfer students) in undergrad and graduate school should be required to take a course in self care, where they are taught several ways to implement self-care into their lives - provided them with tools and allow them to choose what works for them. Ms. Bloomquist speaks about the prevalence of secondary traumatic stress and burnout, etc. and how important it is for educators and employers to promote self care to students and employees, especially those in high emotionally stressful positions. Thank you Ms. Bloomquist for your great insight. Worth listening too.

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Average Rating: 5stars  great podcast!, Saturday, April 05, 2014

By Kathleen Brady-Stepien :

I found your connection between the gap in perceptions of the importance of self-care and the actual knowledge and preparation for the behaviors involved in self care really fascinating. I have talked with other students in the UB SSW about how some professors (let alone employers!) seem to be disconnected from the idea of actually practicing self-care. I have distinct memories of Elaine's Trauma and Human Rights class, where we blew bubbles, practiced deep breathing, and enjoyed chocolate together. Another of my professors, Maria Picone, made it a point to use "icebreaker" activities in many of our classes so that we would have a 5-10 minute opportunity to engage with one another in a playful, humorous way. I believe that as universities increasingly move to offer social work programs online, they need to think about creative ways to bridge the gap for students and professors between thinking that self care is important, and actually helping to practice it. Students need exposure to self-care while they are in school; schools should not wait for employers (stretched in many ways) to offer students this perspective/know-how. Thanks for sharing--I found this very interesting to think about!

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.