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I am providing a personal statement to demonstrate the commitment and passion that I have for social work in the army with an aim of helping our army personnel and ensure that the army is a better place for all. I am committed to promoting social change, solving problems that are present in human relationships as well as empowering and liberating personnel in the army to enhance their well-being. Utilizing the theories on social systems and human behaviors that I have acquired through education, training and work experience, my role as a social worker in the army will comprise of intervening at points where the personnel interact with the environment around them. This personal statement presents my interest and testimony of why I believe I am the best candidate to become a social worker in the army
My objectives as a social worker will be to provide the best possible care for the soldiers as well as civilians too help them deal with life. This will involve identification and conduction of crisis awareness so as to assist service members and their families in a crisis or are undergoing an emergency situation. Tending to dependents and soldiers will call for the experience that I have gained while working with civilians and in particular troubled teenagers and young adults as well as those who were in need of guidance. However, the position will also call on the experience that I have in combat as well as the stress management techniques that I have learned while working with the army.
I have extensive experience in dealing with civilians who are suffering from various mental needs and disorder. I was involved in providing youth counseling as well as Bible classes to a total of 30 teenagers over a period of two years at my church, Iglesia el Pabellon del Jubileo in San Antonio Texas. I have also been involved in one-on-one counseling of young couples on dealing with their marital problems at my church. In addition, I counseled and mentor a single student form Paschall Elementary in San Antonio who was failing her 5th grade class as a result of family problems. Through comprehensive counseling and teaching, she was able to pass her 5th grade.
The duties involved in the above position involved providing emotional and practical support through out the counseling period. My work in San Antonio also helped me to learn and develop communication skills as it was necessary to communicate in a clear and effective manner during the guidance and counseling sessions. It was essential to speak in a jargon-free manner so as to get through to the particular group I was addressing, student, teenagers and young married couples.
Currently, I am working as an Occupational Therapist Assistant for the Army. In this capacity I am able to provide physical therapy that is aimed at healing the body. However, more relevant to the above position is the mental therapy I give to the soldiers especially those that are suffering from Post Traumatic syndrome disorder, PTSD as well as those who are suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury. These conditions arise from such factors as traumatic past experiences as well as delayed stress type issues, to physical illness and diseases that afflict the service members and their families. In this position, I have closely worked with social workers in the army as I work as an intermediary between them and the soldiers.
This involves the employment of various skills to engage the social workers and medical staff in the negotiation of care for my patients. In so doing, I am able to contribute to mental health assessment in a manner that is positive providing documented information on the mental health history. This position has enabled me to develop negotiation skills which at times involve challenging other professionals to provide relevant treatment to my patients. Being part of an extensive process for our service men also means that I have to compromise so as to ensure that a patient gets the best treatment available. It also involves expending my medical perspective as well as advocating on behalf of my patients.
In so doing, I assisted veterans, service members and families to find mental and emotional and therapy help services. This knowledge will help me in my role to locate as well as provide support and counseling, professional referrals for the military and army personnel on active duty, those who are retired as well as departments and families of the identified groups.
The position has facilitated my acquisition of knowledge in the area of identifying and evaluating various mental disorders after which I refer the patient to a more qualified professional. Under the army, I have also been trained to combat injury related stress and illness, such as compassionate fatigue as well as being a member of an army health community that is proactive. This is relevant experience that is applicable in the army social work, such as helping military personnel to deal with personal and marital problems as well as personal issues while helping build and grow a positive environment for army social work.
I am adept in the use of re-framing. This involves the provision of a different perspective, an approach that is different and a different mode of interpreting a situation. I have developed this skill by looking at a patient’s physical context of their injury and then looking inwards at the psychological cause or effect of the patient’s injury. This prevents the patient from being pathologies in a medical framework and places the problem within a wider frame of reference. This is to say that the obvious diagnosis is not always the right one. There is always a need to go deeper to find the root cause of a problem. Most of the time, physical symptoms such as back problems and muscle soreness are a manifestation of more serious underlying psychological conditions as is usually with the case of Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder.
I have also learned the importance of being flexible when working with people. I am respectful of others as well as eager to learn from others while working in a team. In my current position, there is a need to be adaptable as well thinking on ones feet while applying theory to practice. This is an important skill in social work where one deals with a vast degree of reaction to stressful situations by the personnel. The personalities ones deal with are usually very different from one another even where the condition suffered from is the same. This calls for the need to create a bigger picture of a patient by being extensively consultative and continuously aiming to make myself better by learning from others as well as from my experiences.
My interest in social work has manifested in me from a young age. I have demonstrated my ability, commitment and determination to my social calling from the voluntary work I did in at my church and community in San Antonio. My experience while working for the Army is also in line with social work and has laid a sufficient foundation to launch me into a career of social work with invaluable technical and practical experience as well as relevant training and knowledge to ensure that I am competent as a social worker. It is my wish that you will give me the opportunity to work as a social worker for the army and in so doing contribute to helping our army personnel and ensure that the army is a better place for all.