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Social work has a rich history of bringing people together to support families and individuals in need. We are proud of the contributions our two social workers make to our college and Veterinary Medical Center, veterinary profession, and society. The month of March celebrates the contributions of social workers in society.
At The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, a trained social worker helps support families through difficult times. The College of Veterinary Medicine recognizes the important work of social workers and their collaborations through the Honoring the Bond program.
Joelle Nielsen, veterinary social worker, coordinates the Honoring the Bond program, working with the clients served by the experts in the Veterinary Medical Center. The Honoring the Bond program in the Veterinary Medical Center was one of the first programs in the nation to include a licensed social worker on the veterinary health care team, offering support services to pet owners.
“Our college is unique because we have two social workers: one dedicated to the students and one to the clients. They work closely together to make sure everybody’s needs are met,” says Dr. Jennifer Brandt, social worker for the college and Peer Tutoring Program Coordinator.
Dr. Brandt provides counseling to the students to help them cope with a variety of issues related to college. She also teaches veterinary communication classes to the students to help them better manage conflicts. Many different tools help students manage and de-escalate situations, and the classes help teach students which tool is best to use in different situations.
Dr. Brandt also works closely with Joelle Nielsen, who helps with communication classes and student clinics. Students are recorded so that they can critically review how they interact with clients. Joelle then meets with students to review and provide feedback in order to help them improve their communication skills.
Together our social workers ensure that veterinary students and professionals have the tools they need for effectively interacting with others.