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November 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Social workers are in an enviable profession in which they can touch so many lives from all walks of life. It’s a true blessing.

One of the most striking populations where social workers make a difference is the veterans community. It’s the social worker’s job to reach these heroic individuals to help ensure any remnants of trauma can be eased. This month’s E-News Exclusive offers tips on a unique approach to connecting with veterans.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Lee DeOrio, editorial director
e-News Exclusive
Stress Reduction Through Music Among Active Guard Reserve Instructors

By Rita Sitney, DSW, LMSW, and Karen Slovak, PhD, LISW-S

Social worker roles in the military include administering suicide and behavioral health assessments, providing evidence-based psychological health treatment, carrying out case management tasks, advocating services for soldiers and their families, conducting research, writing policies, and managing and administering programs (Lewandowski, 2015). Given the physical, mental, and emotional issues such as stress that veterans and active-duty service members might encounter (Frone & Blais, 2019), social workers can help provide crucial clinical knowledge and expertise toward these issues. In addition, social workers are a part of an exosystem of social structures that contain resources that can influence a person’s settings. They utilize an ecological approach to engage, train, and provide knowledge to various clients and populations (Eriksson et al., 2018; Rishel, 2015).

The military work environment is diverse and complex, exposing soldiers and service members to work fatigue such as stress, which is an essential issue among soldiers in nondeployed settings and a significant employee safety and well-being problem for today’s military organizations (Frone & Blais, 2019). This is especially true for the United States Army’s Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M) locations, which provide engaging yet rigorous training environments to develop knowledgeable soldiers and leaders. Active Guard Reserve (AGR) instructors who teach at an RTS-M facility in the Midwest work in training facilities affiliated with the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, which trains and educates more than 100,000 soldiers and service members annually (Sturkol, 2020).

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Industry Insight
Ethical Challenge of Health Care for Undocumented Immigrants Yields Clinician Moral Distress

In one of the first studies to explore clinician moral distress related to the ethically challenging provision of health care to undocumented immigrants, researchers from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine surveyed physicians and nurses to assess their perspectives on treating end-stage renal disease in undocumented immigrants, a condition Medicare covers for U.S. citizens regardless of age, but does not cover for undocumented immigrants.

Moral distress is an emotional experience in which an individual feels constrained from acting on deeply held beliefs, resulting in the sense of compromising one’s professional integrity. Moral distress has been correlated with traumatic stress, emotional exhaustion, burnout, depression, and intent to leave a position or profession.

Nearly one-half (48%) of the clinicians surveyed in the new study indicated experiencing moral distress when required to provide only last-resort emergent dialysis for end-stage kidney disease for undocumented immigrant patients rather than the standard care of thrice-weekly intensive dialysis sessions covered by Medicare for U.S. citizen patients.

Under federal regulations, individuals, including those who are undocumented, cannot be refused care in an emergency department if they meet certain disease advancement criteria. In the majority of states, undocumented immigrants with end-stage renal disease receive only emergency dialysis. Clinical outcomes for undocumented immigrants receiving emergent dialysis show higher death rate, increased length of stay, and poorer quality of life than outcomes for those receiving standard thrice-weekly dialysis.

Read more »
Products & Services
Latinx in Social Work Amplifies Stories of Challenges and Successes of Hispanic Social Workers

Anthology presents 21 authors who inspire and heal communities

New York–based social worker Erica Priscilla Sandoval, LCSW, found a very interesting statistic when it comes to Hispanics in the social work field. According to, “Latinxs are the largest ethnic minority in the U.S., yet only 14% of social workers are Latinx.”

“When I saw that statistic, I needed to know why that was such a low number,” says Sandoval, founder of Sandoval CoLab, a psychotherapy and consulting group. “As I talked with my colleagues, I uncovered stories of racism, bias, and discrimination, but also how they healed communities with the hard, difficult, and rewarding work that they put in each day. That’s when I realized that we in the Latinx community needed to share these stories and educate the next generation.”

Sandoval gathered 21 peers to share their personal stories of challenges and successes in her new anthology book, Latinx in Social Work: Stories That Heal, Inspire and Connect Communities, published by Fig Factor Media. The book is a No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon.

“The book is an eye-opener to highlight Latinx contributors to the quality of life for New Yorkers, gives a blueprint for younger generations of social workers, and presents inspiration for all in a quest for social justice and equality,” she says. “This is a tribute to all the healers regardless of their field of practice. We are more than a monolithic representation. It highlights the journey and the beauty of a culture that is colorful and expansive. I am in awe of the brilliant authors serving our Latinx community.”

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in Social Work Today
Digital Mapping in Social Work
Geographic information systems can help social workers pinpoint areas of need more easily, but there are hurdles to clear for it to become more commonplace. Read more »

Animal-Assisted Therapy and ART — A Picture-Perfect Combo
Meet Prairie Conlon, who has found success using animal-assisted and accelerated resolution therapies. Read more »
Other News
Eating Disorders Among Veterans Attributed to Trauma, Military Weight Requirements
Eating disorders are a common but unrecognized struggle among veterans, according to the CT Mirror.

Evidence-Based Reentry Resources Key for Sicker Incarcerated Population, Researchers Say
Mental illness and incarceration are often intertwined, so medical resources and support are important for people reentering society, according to North Carolina Health News.
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