Blog Article

What its like to intern as a social worker at Island

By Warren Masendu, Intern (2018)

The experience of an internship at Island Hospice & Healthcare - Warren Masendu, Social Worker

Understanding the field of social work requires first hand experience. There is need for one to have knowledge of social work values, ethics, skills and intellectual awareness acquired in the classroom tested through practice. Being an intern at Island Hospice & Healthcare (Island) helped me realize and acknowledge my gaps in knowledge and improve this as I received the opportunity to reflect and gain self-awareness as a social worker.


Professional Development

Having the opportunity to interact with various clients/patients with different social, spiritual, emotional and physical issues enhanced my ability to build and establish relationships.


Besides being a social work intern, at Island I managed to understand office routines beyond social work roles as there is interplay between all departments of the agency. This had a positive impact on my own flexibility as my knowledge was broadened further.  Through this placement I appreciated working in conjunction with other departments as well as other practitioners like nurses and doctors.


Understanding of clients/patients/communities

Working in palliative care and bereavement service was not an easy task as it demanded a deep awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others, coupled with the wish to relieve it. Practicing in the field of palliative care and bereavement service developed in me a different perception of my field and its relevance in society. This exposure to a wide variety of patients and clients helped me appreciate the uniqueness of what individuals experience when faced with a life threatening illness. One thing I have noted about Island’s service users is that of family and relationships. Understanding the relationships and family around a client/patient is of paramount importance as it allows for a holistic approach to address physical, social, emotional and spiritual issues presented. Acknowledging the above made an irrevocable difference to my practice.



It has been a privilege to be assigned to a well experienced social worker as a supervisor. The supervisor was very passionate about the work and supervision, and gave enough attention to my needs. My time at Island was  a great experience as my supervisor made sure that I received the opportunity to practice and created opportunities to grow. The supervision provided by Island played a pivotal role in my professional development.



Island runs modules for carers who are interested in palliative care and bereavement service. Lessons learnt in the modules have also enriched my knowledge and practice as emphasis was made on principles of communication and skills development, and the approaches that one needs to know in the context of palliative care and bereavement service. Apart from the impact made by the modules on my professional development, I also found the training helpful in my contact with family, friends and neighbours. I am very grateful for the opportunity to go through this learning experience.



First of all I would like to express my gratitude to the Island team for taking me as an intern. I feel humbled by the support that surrounded me throughout my placement. Being part of Island was very inspiring and worthwhile.

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