New Social Worker At PDH

Photo: Juanita Dickinson - Social Worker
Friday, 23 February 2018
Portland District Health’s social worker Juanita Dickinson has taken on a broad gamut of work in her new role.

Not only is Ms Dickinson working with ill patients in the hospital, she's supporting elderly residents at Harbourside Lodge and people in the community dealing with anxiety, depression and other conditions.

In addition, she's also been appointed project leader for Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence, a new state-wide program being introduced at PDH.

The variety of work attracted Ms Dickinson to the PDH role.

You go into social work to help people and I love being able to help people at their most vulnerable, she said. You don't come to hospital for fun but being able to reassure and support people is a real privilege.

Ms Dickinson said her role aimed to ensure people with health problems don't compromise their social and psychological needs.

We aim to help patients to not be impacted psychologically as they might be physically and to tend to their emotional needs, she said.

In the community she works with people with anxiety and depression and other similar conditions and at Harbourside Lodge with elderly residents to ensure their quality of life is as good as it can be.

Prior to joining PDH, Ms Dickinson was a social worker in child protection and family services, mostly in Geelong and more recently Warrnambool.

Moving to PDH gives me an opportunity to have a go at everything in the field, she said.

Her role with the local Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program is particularly close to her heart.

The framework aims to embed the practice of identifying and responding to family violence experienced by patients and is now being applied by hospitals across Victoria.

This is a program that came out of the Royal Commission and it's a passion of mine, she said.

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