UPHS — Marquette Heroes | Heidi Dickinson, LMSW

Heidi Dickinson, LMSW, Lead Social Worker on the Inpatient Adult Psychiatric Unit at UP Health System – Marquette.

What is your role at UPHS – Marquette?
I am the Lead Social Worker on the Inpatient Adult Psychiatric Unit at UP Health System – Marquette.

What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare?
My mom was a nurse at the hospital for 36 years before she retired. Seeing how much she loved to go to work and care for her patients, really made me want to go into the healthcare field.

What’s a typical day like for you? What is it like working in this field?
A typical day is busy, which makes the day go by quickly. I start out with a morning meeting with our doctors, nurses, social workers, and recreation therapist to get an update on all of our patients. We then pass on the report to respective agencies who are working with the patients in the community. As the Lead Social Worker, part of my job is to ensure social work services are given to the greatest benefit for our patients. Next, I complete a few audits that I’m responsible for.

Then, the fun starts. I get to meet with the patients — completing assessments, coordinating follow-up care, transportation, and talking with their family/friends; sometimes finding housing for our patients as well. The social workers are also responsible for two groups per day. One good thing about working in my unit: days are never the same and you never know what to expect, which makes it exciting to come to work each and every day.

How long have you been employed here? Have you always been in the same position?

I have worked on this unit for 9 years.

What are some of the big changes you have experienced in this position? 

Changes that I have experienced include taking on running therapy groups, learning new medical record programs, and the challenges during COVID with connecting providers to our patients whether that be in person or over the phone. However, with the challenge of COVID, it has also opened a lot of doors with mental health providers, they are now doing over-the-phone or Zoom sessions.

What are some of your interests outside of work? What is your favorite local gem?
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family (my husband, son, daughter, and chocolate lab), the kids sure keep us busy! We love to be at our family camp making maple syrup, fishing, boating, kayaking…anything outside! We also love our weekend camping trips. We are very fortunate that my husband and I are from Marquette and both of our families still live here, so we get to spend time with them.

My favorite local gem is definitely Lake Superior, it’s amazing how the lake can be so calm and peaceful one day with the best sunrise/sunset, and the next a great storm rolling in.

What do you enjoy most about working at UPHS – Marquette?
I enjoy coming to work every day and seeing how much the patients can improve from their admission to discharge, it’s really amazing. I also enjoy working with all of my co-workers, we really have a great team!

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