For the past 12 years, Faedra McKitrick has been providing end-of-life care at Hospice of Chattanooga. It’s a role that, while demanding at times, she finds truly rewarding. “As a social worker, my job is to advocate for the patient and family,” she explains. “This includes working through financial, legal, and emotional issues that arise at the end of life, as well as supporting families through possibly the hardest thing they have ever had to do: saying goodbye to a loved one.” A straightforward and patient-focused approach helps McKitrick connect with those around her. “I try to meet my patients and families where they’re at, because they’re not always ready to talk about their feelings and concerns,” she says. “I love seeing someone who thought they would break under the pressure come out of it stronger than they expected.”
“It’s a joy to help those in the greatest need connect to resources and support.”
1. What do you love most about your profession?
I love the surprise of never knowing what I will be doing or who I will be meeting on any given day. I also love that I have the autonomy to recognize the person with the highest need and assist them on their journey.
2. What influenced you to pursue your career?
I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala for two years and worked with people in severe poverty. After helping affect change in people and seeing lives improve because of my interventions, there is no way any other type of work could compete.
3. What is your best advice for patients?
Never take a day for granted, enjoy every moment you have, and do not wait for retirement to travel.
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
My candor. It’s a blessing and a curse, but you always know where I stand!
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?
Looks can be deceiving. You never know anyone’s story – take the time to hear it, and you will be rewarded.
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