Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day/Week from Hell*

*insprired by Matt Groening, Binky and Bongo

Yes indeed, I am still alive. You wouldn't know it by this blog, but it is true. Kindergarten, among other things, is kicking my ass.

Inspired by a really cool article in the Urbanite in which four daily work lives are detailed, I present A Day in the Life of a Social Worker. (aside: the football coach job? my idea of true hell. watching tapes of old games for like, 14 hours?? just set me on fire, please.)

Scene: a Thursday in Baltimore

6:15 AM: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Repeat.

6:58 AM: Finally get out of bed. Shower, dress. Husband corrals Sam into dressing.

7:32 AM: Leave for Sam's school. It is much colder than I suspected and I don't have time to go back for jackets. Sam has a sweater, though. Drive to Canton.

7:58 AM: Arrive at school. Wait in line with Sam, walk him to the door & wave as he enters school.

8:10 AM Walk to car & drive to work.

8:27 AM Park in the garage at work. Realize I have left all my Spanish materials at home, including my homework. Drive back home.

8:40 AM Enter my house, get my Spanish bag and a jacket. Really want to go upstairs and go back to sleep but resist the urge. Husband already asleep again and does not even hear me.

8:43 AM Stop at Donna's for iced coffee. New-fangled parking system will not give me a ticket for my 25 cents. Barista is snooty. They are out of half & half and coffee is bitter, as am I.

8:58 AM Arrive at work. AGAIN. Head to Spanish class.

12:00 PM Leave Spanish, walk to grocery by work to get lunch. Treat myself to shrimp salad sandwich and chips. Line at deli is ridiculously long.

12:22 PM Arrive in my office. Employee J is very ill and has not been able to find anyone to take his afternoon clinic shift. Arrange for the triage person to take his clinic shift; I will do triage. Arrange for someone to cover my triage should the intake I have scheduled to do with a student at 2 actually show.

12:34 PM Scarf my lunch while I read my emails, check phone messages, and review flags in the Electronic Patient Record.

1:00 PM Triage one: Young man with brain tumor (operable except he has no insurance) needs assistance with paying for his anti-seizure meds. Call government agency to check on his prescription coverage application; they confirm it was received but remind me they have 45 business days to process it. Client informs me his other government program ap was denied because the medical form was 2 days late. I instruct him to appeal that denial, and write a voucher for another week of meds. He asks me for help with his parole officer, who wants documentation of his medical problems. He signs a release form and I call the PO, who tells me what she needs.

1:30 PM Triage two: Man drops off transportation program forms that need to be sent to his doctor. He signs a release and asks me to forward the discharge paperwork from his summer hospital stay to his doctors.

1:40 PM Triages three-five: Pharmacist calls for copay assistance for three clients. One I authorize; for one I consult with his Primary Case Manager, who wants the client to see her first; and for the last I review her chart to see if she is eligible for extra assistance through one of several government programs. I have to turf this to my covering person because my intake is here.

2:12 PM Start intake with a very sweet man with HIV dementia. A student is observing. Despite my very best efforts, due to the dementia and some great difficuly with redirecting this client, the intake takes almost 2 hours.

3:58 PM Intake ends, triage resumes. Intake client will be here for several more hours, but the student is able to take over at this point.

4:00 PM Triage six: New HIV client comes in to pick up meds but has no insurance. His case manager started an emergency application last week, but her note isn't finished and she is not here because she was in a car accident this morning, and we insisted she leave the office and get checked out by a doctor. I make calls to the government program, to the CM's cell phone, and ultimately get an approval number. It only covers one of the meds, so I spend about 20 minutes getting a phone approval for a program run by a pharmaceutical company--this takes care of another med. I write a voucher to pay for the remaining meds.

4:58 PM Begin the process of finishing all the triage paperwork today. Fax medical info to Triage 1's PO. Write authorizations for pharmacy. Finish my notes. Consult with the nurse who saw Intake Guy about meds he will need tonight. Write some more vouchers for him.

6:38 PM Call Husband to let him know I am finally ready to leave. Except I have to make a stop first--one of my staff is leaving tomorrow for a new job and I need to pick up her farewell present.

6:58 PM Arrive at local mini-mall, peruse an artists' collective shop and purchase a gift.

7:30 PM Arrive home. Help Sam get ready for bed, read stories, and lie down with him while he falls asleep.

8:22 PM Eat the chicken nuggets I find in the oven, which I later learn were never actually cooked, apparently just defrosted. Collapse in front of TV.

I have absolutely no recollection of the rest of the evening before bed, but I am sure it involved TV and some minor cleaning.


At 4:31 PM, Blogger jackie said...

Good Lord, woman! That is a crazy schedule. Hope you get some respite soon.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger cole edwards said...

OMGosh. Seriously. Wow. And you always seem so chipper and with it. I would be like the walking dead if it were me. Sheesh. You are the woman!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger maggie said...

sometimes just hearing the word "triage" sends me into a cold sweat! ;o) miss you!

At 12:22 PM, Blogger maggie said...

that was supposed to say "mary", not "maggie"! who's maggie? i have no clue... must go investigate...

At 2:57 PM, Blogger J. Brown said...

Though I commiserate with you on a hard day that I know is merely an example of many more just like it, I also can't help but miss all the craziness and chaos that is Chase Brexton. In all seriousness, what you do matters and you impact every person who is fortunate enough to come in contact with you. That being said, I hope you are planning a relaxing vacation for the near future!



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