ElizabethMae
Career Profile

10 questions with Carina Lundtvedt, Mayo Clinic Social Worker

Name: Carina Lundtvedt, MSW, LGSW  //  Age: 26  //  Location: Rochester, MN  //  Education: Psychology, B.A.S & Masters in Social Work  //  Current Title: Social Worker

You majored in psychology and later got your masters in Social Work. What led you to pursue that career path and what is the biggest lesson your education has taught you about the field?

I’ve always felt a sense of social responsibility. Growing up with my families dynamics and hardships, psychology led me to a deeper understanding of our behavior. By nature, I seek opportunities to enhance my capacity for bettering psychosocial situations, thus pursuing the field of social work was a perfect fit.

My education has taught me ‘use of self’. Social Work means getting to fully experience the vast richness and the strange, exquisite beauty found in the rawest parts of our human condition.

What does a typical day (or week) look like for you, with work and personal commitments/responsibilities? 

We start by reviewing referrals for the six units my colleague and I cover. After spending two hours in morning rounds we consult patients to aid in resolving psychosocial issues, chemical dependency problems, financial concerns, or aftercare planning related to the patient’s health condition. Throughout the day we continue collaborating with the interdisciplinary team regarding patient/family dynamics, ongoing needs, etc. and documenting our encounters with the patient/family in the medical record. Should we suspect abuse or neglect, that case would take priority.

“I maintain strong, clear boundaries to keep work at work. For example, my laptop and email notifications remain at work.”

How do you achieve work-life balance in your own life? How do you live intentionally?

Personally, when our plates are full there will always be one thing that requires more attention than others. Instead, I maintain strong, clear boundaries to keep work at work. For example, my laptop and email notifications remain at work. When it has been an exceptionally busy day, and I’m feeling burned-out, I try to engage in physical activity or call friends and family.

What tools do you implement in your day to help you stay productive and on–track?

Coffee. Lots of it. 😉

On a serious note, I spend a lot of time documenting in medical records so I often listen to music to help focus my thoughts. My Google calendar alerts are very helpful as well.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about social work or other careers related to psychology?

Oftentimes social work is poorly portrayed in mainstream media. I feel the biggest misconception is thinking that child welfare is social work’s only role and that we are only here to take your children away. Child welfare is still flourishing but there is so much more we do. The vast majority of individuals are not aware that there are social workers in public policy, environmental health, and organizational research.

How do you incorporate physical and mental health into your weekly schedule?

I am an avid proponent of practicing yoga. I try to engage in yoga sculpt and practice the mindfulness techniques to the best of my ability.

What advice do you have for women who want to stay on top of their mental wellness?

There are several things women can do to promote their mental and emotional wellbeing. From creating more positive memories to occupying the awareness within are essentials to bolstering a healthy mentality.

We can start by acknowledging difficulties and strengths internally and be open to the information and experiences that conflict with our routine ideologies. This kind of openness is not only a starting point for challenging the misconceptions we have about ourselves but others as well. I believe this to be a vital part of developing close, authentic connections and maintaining emotionally healthy relationships all which build the resiliency to withstand adversities throughout life.

“I am an avid proponent of practicing yoga. I try to engage in yoga sculpt and practice the mindfulness techniques to the best of my ability.”

Podcast Recommendations? 

  • Modern Love
  • Where should we begin? With Esther Perel
  • Malcolm Gladwell Revisionist History
  • Serial
  • S-Town
  • This American Life
  • Ted Radio Hour
  • Wrong About Everything
  • The Joe Rogan Experience

If you could have lunch with one woman (living or dead) who would it be and why?

My mom…I miss her.

Dream vacation?

Traveling the world volunteering for underserved populations!

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