Newspaper spotlights long-serving heart transplant social worker
Cheers to the San Francisco Chronicle for this profile of Mary Burge, 71, probably the longest serving social worker in the nation helping heart transplant patients and their families.
Burge, MSW, has worked at Standford hospitals in California for more than 30 years and said she has helped more than 1,000 families.
The first thing she does when meeting families is make sure their basic needs are met — do they have a toothbrush, money for food, or a bed to stay in at the hospital?
Burge has probably one of the most emotionally draining jobs on the planet. Many patients waiting for transplants die and even those who receive them do not always live.
The social worker remembers working with one young girl who prepped for heart transplant surgery twice, only to learn both hearts were not suitable. However, on the third try she received a healthy heart.
“My job, in that situation, was to provide comfort and sustain hope,” Burge said.
Social workers work closely with patients and their doctors and nurses to ensure clients get the best possible healthcare. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Health and Wellness website by clicking here.
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