Kim Dove is a first responder and veteran of the Air Force who earned her master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker. She is a senior primary therapist at Princeton House Behavioral Health in Men’s Trauma in Moorestown, NJ. In this role, Kim helps men deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is characterized by persistent feelings of intense fear, horror and/or hopelessness.

(Photo Courtesy of Kim Dove)

(Photo Courtesy of Kim Dove)

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Where did you receive your degree from?

“I attended a community college in Massachusetts for two years, and then received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rider University. Upon graduating from Rider, I began the master’s in social work program at the University of Pennsylvania.”

Can you describe the duties in your field?

“The duties of a psychiatric social worker can vary from day-to-day which is appealing for me. It is a very dynamic profession that requires excellent people and communication skills, knowledge of social work, knowledge of medications and mental illnesses and the ability to manage crises and work both independently and as a team player with other associates. A typical day for me involves rounds in the morning, group work with the Men’s Trauma population, individual sessions with patients, phone calls, interactions with outside agencies, documentation for group/daily notes and case management duties.”

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How has education prepared you for your career?

“My informal education as a police officer in the Air Force provided me with an invaluable skill set to be able to handle most crises with ease, and also to be able to respond intuitively to patient’s needs. My formal education only solidified my desire to help people and coupled with the abilities I honed in the Air Force, I am able to assist people in the most acute crises of their lives.”

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in your field?

“I would advise someone to seek out other professionals for support and ask questions about what area of practice they are considering. Early in my career, I worked with a population that I did not mesh well with and this caused me to question my career and educational choices. However, after speaking with colleagues and mentors, I was able to differentiate that I needed to change the population I was working with and in doing so, am the happiest I have ever been professionally.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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