National Social Work Month Spotlight Ihsan Shaikhly

National Social Work Month Spotlight: Ihsan Shaikhly

``Social work practice aims to meet individuals where they are at, actively listen as they communicate their needs, and provide support in any way possible.``

- Ihsan Shaikhly

We are celebrating National Social Work Month by spotlighting Ishan Shaikhly, who has been a social worker for two and a half years.

In the busy halls of Inova Fairfax Hospital, Ihsan and her fellow social workers, spend each day working to ensure that a family’s social needs are met.

Shaikhly says providing comfort, support, and relief to families struggling with the hospitalization of a family member is vital to improving overall physical and emotional health – an essential part of the healing process.

Read on to learn more about how she prioritizes self-care, how you can support social workers, and why she says it is important for families to stay near their hospitalized child.

Q: What would you tell someone interested in becoming a social worker?

A: I would tell someone interested in becoming a social worker that every day of doing this work is gratifying and makes more of an impact than we may know.

Q: How can the community support social workers?

A: The community can support social workers and families by creating and funding programs to address social needs, as well as reducing the stigma surrounding the use of community resources.

Q: How do you prioritize self-care and what does it look like for you?

A: I prioritize self-care by leaving work at the hospital. I also take time to process difficult cases with my colleagues and practice mindfulness.

Q: How do you describe Ronald McDonald House to families who have never heard of it?

A: I would describe the Ronald McDonald House as a safe place and a home away from home for families with children admitted to the hospital.

Q: Why is it important for families to be nearby their hospitalized child?

A: It is very important for families to be in close proximity to their hospitalized child because having a child in the hospital is extremely stressful and leaving a child in the hospital on their own is even more so. The Ronald McDonald House allows parents to have a comfortable place to rest knowing they are only a few minutes away from their child.

``It is important for me to let families know that they have people on their side that are willing to support them in any way they need.``

- Ihsan Shaikhly

Thank you to Ihsan and to all of the social workers making a difference in the lives of families during some of their hardest moments. We celebrate you this month and always!

To learn more about how you can help families with a hospitalized child, visit: Ways to Give.