Keli Klein | Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan, Bachelor’s in Biopsychology and Cognitive Science, 2005; Master’s of Social Work, 2006
Keli is currently a clinical social worker in the UMHS Emergency Department. She describes a typical day: On a typical day in the ED, I see patients who come in after traumatic events such as car accidents, attempted suicides, sexual assault, child abuse, etc. But I also see some people who have less emotionally trying crises – kids who got injured playing sports, someone who got a blood clot after having surgery, a patient who needs stitches because they cut themselves cooking. For all of them, I assess for any needs that are urgent, from finding a funeral home after a patient dies to helping someone call a neighbor to feed their dog while they are in the hospital. I have learned a lot about medicine because I am often the one who has time to spend with family members while the physicians and nurses are busy treating the patient. Especially in trauma situations, I have to interpret for the family what the various members of the medical team are saying.
I also participate in the Disaster Planning committee for the social work department, the code (cardiac arrest) response team for the hospital, and various quality improvement projects. I recently wrote a personal experience article about my work that was published in an online journal for health care professionals.
Keli recalls her favorite memory of the WISE RP: My favorite part of the WISE RP was the career-oriented WISE Nights, when someone would come to speak about their profession. Even if I didn’t really want to become an OBGYN physician or an astronaut, I loved hearing about all the different opportunities out there.
Words of wisdom from Keli: The University of Michigan can be intense. Classes, grades, and exams are only so important; you need to do well enough to get a degree and know what you’re doing. But in the real world, when you are applying for a job, no one asks what your GPA was or how well you did on the orgo final. They want to know if you are a person who can collaborate and work on a team, who is well-rounded with a balanced life so you won’t burn out in your career. Don’t work so hard to get stellar grades that you can’t enjoy being a college student, make lasting friends, and keep in touch with your family.
Keli passes on some advice: Pick your battles. Sometimes, the relationship is more important than being right or winning the argument.