13:40 PM

Diving into Social Work

Kyla Obillos, Social Work Intern, on why she chose this rewarding career

By Kyla Obillos, Social Work Intern

Social Work Kyla ObillosWhen deciding on my career path, there was one thing I knew for certain. I wanted to help people. To be part of something bigger than myself. I grew up in a large family and helping each other became second naturecarpooling for school or extracurricular activities, accompanying one another to doctor’s appointments, babysitting, you name it. I was always told “it takes a village,” and I’m learning that it applies to most everything in life, especially in this career. So here starts my journey into the field of social work, which led me to becoming a social work intern at Cook Children’s.

You might think that I only work with the pediatric patients here at Cook Children’s, but that’s not the case. The kids are the No. 1 priority, and in addition to social workers onsite, they’ve got a “village” of doctors, nurses, technicians, child life specialists, clinical therapists, and even clowns, to make sure they get the absolute best care possible. But what about the people who bring their child to the hospital? Who sit up at night worrying, who lose jobs to provide care, who drive hours to get to a single appointment, who feel what seems like the worst kind of pain knowing their child is suffering ? Social workers help them too.

What I’ve learned is that I’m here to help these peoplethe parents and familiesget the support they need to adjust to illnesses and treatment plans, and to be in the best condition they can be to continue caring for their loved ones. I also support the staff with social issues or needs that may arise so that the patient’s treatment remains the top focus. I’m here to help folks through the most challenging time in their lives, much like I am there to support my own family when life takes an unexpected turn.

Social Work Breaks BarriersI have found my time here at Cook Children’s to be informative, enlightening, and inspiring. I’ve learned that it’s hard work, it often leaves you exhausted and burnt out, and maybe even questioning if you want to talk to other people for the rest of the day. But I have also witnessed first-hand the remarkable resilience of social workers, who experience insurmountable struggles one day and come back the next with a sunny disposition ready for the that day’s challenges. I am grateful to be meeting, shadowing, and learning from a group of strong-willed individuals.

It gives me great pride to be able to help families through sometimes scary, anxiety driven moments as they manage a smile on their face for their children. I am humbled to be joining a field made up of compassionate and empathetic people who want to support their community.