A Mother’s Wisdom and Homage to Mentorsby Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP on 05/12/19
I’ve been fortunate to have a bevy of both personal and professional mentors in my life. My father and brother were the first to guide a lifetime of lessons learned, with every interaction and experience an opportunity for learning. My husband picked up the torch to be the calmer half of my whole; patience and objectivity among his many qualities. My son’s unique perspective of the world is a constant reminder of the importance to view the inherent beauty of every situation.
Though on this Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of the many wise women in my life who over the years have infused me with their exceptional character, wisdom, and strength. Each person has contributed an individual piece to the composite of my professional persona.
A Career Path Shaped by Mentoring
There are teachers and professors who empowered my vision to embrace all I could be. I may have earned the right as an adult to call some by their first name, though they will always be known to me as Mrs. Simon, Mrs. Rogers, Ms. Byrne, and Dean Harvey. Each was the consummate educator embodying keen knowledge, individual spirit, steady support, and critical guidance.Together, they set the foundation for my commitment to educate new and more seasoned professionals with a distinctive flair.
Moving into my career, it was Lorraine who empowered my ability to leverage personal presentation to the max. She modeled polish and poise, while always advocating for the human condition. It was my daily task to consider, “how did I want others to view me?”. I still consider my reply to this question daily. Julia then picked up my next stage of evolution, steering that role transition from medical social worker to professional case manager. She emphasized the value to view strengths as opposed to challenges, and with Mary and Mindy, drove my knowledge acquisition. These professionals added the pillars of ethical practice and interprofessional mutual respect to my practice foundation.
Cathy mentored my writing passion, and along with Linda ignited my written voice. Then came Suzanne, who set the tone of purpose to every article, and continues to serve as needed, irreplaceable, and unconditional support. Along with Teri and Lynn, these women are all gifted writers in their own right. They remind me daily of the intentionality and compelling rationale of each written word.
In recent years, Stefani has entered my professional posse, cuing me to use my strong voice wisely and consistently. Our most recent discussion centered on the ethical front lines that our workforce faces daily, forced to mitigate untenable situations. Too many professionals are forced to prioritize employer interests over client need, a delicate balance indeed. A healthcare professional’s primary obligation is always to the client, though how easily that obligation is challenged, if not forgotten. Not prioritizing this responsibility goes against every practice act, ethical code, and standard of practice independent of discipline.
In addition, Stefani, along with many of those mentioned above frequently remind me, that the torch has been passed, as daunting as that may be. It is now my turn to serve as professional role model and mentor to the next generation of practitioners.Years ago I vowed to advocate for the professionals as readily as I did for any client. I must do so with a clear and emphatic voice; one that is firm and enduring.
Thank you, Mom
The individual theme of accountability for action is a solid place to acknowledge my first mentor, my mother. She shared a simple yet profound message that I have carried always. It is a message that also speaks volumes for the actions of every professional. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Each one of us is accountable for our own actions.
What mentoring lessons will guide your career path?
Until next time.......Stay Resilient,
#mentoring #mustdobetter #ethics
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