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Spotlight on Bailey Groetsch: Oncology Social Worker

By PearlPoint Nutrition Services July 2, 2013Pearls of Wisdom Blog

A member of our Supportive Services team, Bailey Groetsch celebrated one year with PearlPoint last month. Bailey is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She received her master’s in social work from Tulane University. Before joining PearlPoint, Bailey worked in inpatient rehabilitation. A licensed master social worker in the state of Tennessee, Bailey is also a member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers and National Association of Social Workers. Outside of social work, Bailey enjoys cooking, pure barre, running, and hiking. She is an avid New Orleans Saints fan and also loves U.S. women’s soccer. In fact, Abby Wambach is her favorite soccer player.

We are proud to have Bailey on our team, ensuring that our clients have a compassionate and trusted partner for their journey. We hope you enjoy getting to know Bailey in this month’s PearlPoint spotlight!

Question: Why did you become a social worker? What do you find most gratifying about your work?

Bailey: I realized early on that I had a passion for helping others and that people seemed to gravitate towards me to tell me about the issues they were experiencing. I decided to hone that passion and skill and focus on psychology in college. Later, when picking a graduate program I decided on social work to get a more one-on-one experience with clients. There’s definitely a level of altruism with the practice of social work which is what I was looking for in a profession. The level of personal gratification I get from my job is overwhelming. It is very common for others to ask me how I’m able to do my job and not get bogged down, but the answer is simple when I start conversations with my clients they are often having one of the worst days of their life. They are experiencing immeasurable stress and once we have finished I’ve been able to help relieve some of that stress and hopefully make a difference for the better. To me there’s nothing more gratifying than that.

Question: What’s the most common struggle you find your clients face?

Bailey: Almost all of our clients at PearlPoint mention a financial struggle during the course of their cancer journey. Whether a client is having trouble locating a support group or needs help talking to their physician about a second opinion, their finances almost always come up. No matter what their insurance coverage, income, or job status, a cancer diagnosis will impact your financial stability. A cancer fight is very expensive. Educating our clients on ways to lessen that burden so that they can focus on fighting their cancer is a priority for me at PearlPoint.

Question: What about working with those impacted by cancer led you to PearlPoint?

Bailey: From the start I knew I wanted to work in the medical field in some way. Cancer is a disease that has affected so many people and that number continues to grow every day. I was particularly interested in the way that cancer impacts patients on an emotional and practical level. The developments we have had with medications, clinical trials, and treatment modalities are astounding, but we still sometimes forget to pay attention to the emotional and practical concerns that come up due to a diagnosis. At PearlPoint we do a great job focusing on the other ways that cancer can affect a person. It is the doctor and medical teams’ job to focus on fighting the cancer and at PearlPoint we help fight all the other issues that come with fighting cancer. I’m so happy to be part of a team that has the ability to address this gap in education and services.

Question: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Bailey: During one of my many concerned moments about becoming a social worker and making sure that I would have all of the skills necessary to promote well-being in others, one of my professors told me, “People are resilient, just remember that.” That simple statement has stuck with me both personally and professionally. It’s a reminder that we are resilient and can handle anything. No matter how bad things get we can come back.

Question: What’s something about yourself that most people don’t know?

Bailey: I love Reese’s peanut butter cups but do not like chocolate. After many years I have mastered the art of carefully peeling off the chocolate so that I can enjoy only the peanut butter center.

PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

Author PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

PearlPoint Nutrition Services is a program of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

More posts by PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

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