Aspiring Social Workers Benefit from IUN Internship

Aspiring Social WorkersOffering aspiring NWI social workers a front-line experience riding in an ambulance and making house calls is part of a groundbreaking educational initiative led by Prompt Ambulance and its partners, said Ron Donahue, Director of Business Development for the Highland company. Annually, students from Indiana University Northwest are selected for a year-long internship, added Rondi L. Wightman (right), MSW, off-site administrator and IUN adjunct instructor; this Director of Operations for SoJourner Truth House audits the weekly progress of interns for the National Association of Social Work (NASW), Indiana Chapter. Now in its fourth year, this is believed to be the first internship with a university by an ambulance company in which students have accumulated more than 2,560 hours of continuing education. The internship program grew out of quarterly “lunch and learn” sessions held in Lake, Porter, La Porte and Jasper Counties starting in 2012. A third leg of this partnership is an annual regional conference held every March; the recent third conference focused on trauma. In addition to Prompt, IU Northwest, and NASW, the newest partner for the educational series is the NWI Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at Purdue University Northwest. Boosting interest is that social workers need 200 hours of continuing education every other year. “Through this multi-disciplinary approach, we offer an alternative to online continuing education that is not available anywhere else,” added Jeff Zielinski, Prompt Business development coordinator.

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