Q-and-A with Cassandra Aspinall, Craniofacial Social Worker
What's the best thing about working at Seattle Children's?
As a work environment, Children's provides ongoing opportunities to feel as if you make a difference in the lives of patients and families. This is combined with a sense that people working with you are passionate and professional in how they perform their job duties.
The work is intense and rewarding and it is the balance between doing the work and having support to do it that provides the satisfaction that can lead to long-term career commitment.
What do you like most about the work you do in the Craniofacial Center?
In the Craniofacial Center, the work involves a large variety of professionals that care for children throughout their lives.
While it is important to pay close attention to the technical details of this complex care, team members are committed to the holistic care of children in the context of their family and community.
This perspective makes for a rewarding mix of cross-disciplinary interaction and facilitation of medically complex care with children of all ages.
What makes Children's Craniofacial Center unique?
The Craniofacial Center is unique in its open and collaborative approach to full interdisciplinary care. There is a real and intentional focus on understanding to the best of our ability the needs and opinions of our patients and our families.
Inclusion of a family-centered and culturally competent approach to medical care is sought after. Efforts are made to appreciate the benefits and burdens of both medical diagnoses and treatment courses. This focus takes time which is often in short supply.
Because the importance of providing ethical care is of prime importance, team members are able to include a variety of voices in medical discussions.
What made you want to come to Children's?
In my education, I became interested in medical social work because of the incredible work to be done connecting patients and families with more complete participation in their health care. I had always focused on work with children and saw the job opportunity at Children's as a natural fit to both what I was trained to do and what I wanted to do.
What do people say when they find out you work here?
People often comment that they could never work in such a stressful work environment. This is especially true when they find out that I am a social worker.
Many people are unsure what a social worker at a hospital does and so I try to explain that my role is to help patients and families with things like adjusting to a new diagnosis, coping with medical appointments, procedures and surgeries, and dealing with the psychological issues that go along with looking different.
Overall, people are always positive and proud that Children's is a part of their community.