Employee Heartbeat – A Journey of Compassion

Jenna Baker

How Social Worker Jenna Baker empowers families at Bethany Children’s

At Bethany Children’s Health Center, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship.

We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.

It’s National Social Work Month, and we are featuring Social Worker Jenna Baker in this month’s employee spotlight.

Growing up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Jenna Baker wanted to be a crime scene investigator, much like the characters in the “CSI” television series. Today, as a social worker at Bethany Children’s Health Center, she uses her intellect and resourcefulness to serve patients and families throughout their stay.

“The number of times I say, ‘I’m not sure, but I’ll find out’ is an unexpected aspect of the job,” Jenna shares. “Social workers have to know a lot about a multitude of different things, but I somehow encounter something almost every day that I have to research or look into.”

On a typical day, Jenna checks on patients and family members, follows up on their needs, researches resources and helps families access those services. She helps orient newly admitted patients and their families to the hospital, completes the trauma-informed care assessment and shares that information with the team.

“A lot of my time is devoted to helping families identify any barriers to discharge and problem-solving with the family and team to ensure a safe, confident transition home. One of my highest priorities is making sure patient families feel supported, included and valued in their child’s care at Bethany Children’s,” she says.

For Jenna, this compassionate attention to detail is all part of working for families throughout the continuum of care at Bethany Children’s.

“We are sometimes the first interaction a family has with the hospital when we give prospective families a tour, and the last staff members they see as we wave goodbye at discharge. We work alongside the family and the care team throughout the patient’s stay to ensure that the family feels comfortable and confident to discharge home,” she says.

While there can be challenges, Jenna says that getting to know patients and families is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a social worker at Bethany Children’s.

“I love that our families allow me to walk alongside them and support them every step of the way, from admission to discharge,” she reveals. “It is truly amazing to see the patients’ progress, the caregivers’ confidence grow, and the family continue their journey of recovery at home.”

Jenna has had a positive impact on the patients and families she has served, but they have impacted her as well, inspiring her to further her commitment to social work by completing the process to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), which required 4000 hours of supervised work experience.

Throughout her two years at Bethany Children’s, Jenna has experienced countless meaningful moments when speaking with patients and families or watching them embrace their therapies and training. She remarks, “Seeing them accomplish a new skill and seeing how proud the patient and family are makes my day!”

Fun Facts:

Something people might not know about you: “I’ve done a lot of mission work. I’ve been to Jamaica around 12 times on mission trips. I’ve been able to make friendships with the families I’ve met there, and I go back almost every year. “

Three words your best friend would use to describe you: “Considerate, intentional, and funny (that’s what all funny people say, right?)”

At home: “I have a mini aussiedoodle named Cece. She is my pride and joy.”

Favorite hobbies/ways to spend free time: “Over the last year I’ve gotten better at gardening. Spring is right around the corner so I’m excited to plan my flowerbed and all my flowers. I also like to do any DIY or craft project. “

Favorite sports/teams: “OSU, Go Pokes!”

Favorite TV show: “I love shows like The Office or New Girl. I’ll watch any reality TV show, or any true crime show.”

Favorite food: “I’d have to say homemade macaroni and cheese!”

Favorite inspirational saying: “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” -Kid President

From the bucket list: “I just really want to travel!”

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