Social Work Week – Meet Karrie

Karrie Walker
Karrie Walker, Registered Social Worker in the Trauma and Critical Care Unit at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

March is National Social Work Month, and Social Work Week (March 4-10), provides an opportunity to raise awareness of social workers as part of the health care team and acknowledge the critical role they have at our Hospital.

Social workers help patients and families address the impact of illness and treatment. Tremendous stress often stems from hospitalizations that are sudden and, at times, related to catastrophic illness or injury. Social workers, as part of the health care team, provide assessment and appropriate interventions to aid the patient in achieving optimum recovery/rehabilitation and quality of life.

Social workers often have specific expertise in areas such as general medicine, emergency work, paediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, neurology, psychiatry, and palliative and end-of-life care. Thank you to all of the social workers who make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of patients who receive care at our Hospital.

We connected with Karrie Walker, Registered Social Worker in the Trauma and Critical Care Unit at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, to find out more about why she chose the profession of social work.

What inspired you to work in social work?

I started out working with youth as a Child and Youth Worker and making the move to social work seemed like a natural transition. I like the challenge of figuring things out and helping people through difficult times.

What is unique about your role?

My role is unique because each person’s situation is unique, and I never know what someone will need my help with. I get to help patients from all across Northwestern Ontario. Every day brings something new – for example, helping a critically ill patient by finding family, or assisting the Office of the Coroner.

What do you love about your job?

I am passionate about this job because I am able to provide emotional support and resources to patients and families during a very difficult time in their lives. Like I said, the role is dynamic and every day is different.

Learn more about the profession by visiting the Ontario Association of Social Workers website.