Alumnae/i Feature

Jacqueline Jimenez-Maldonado ’20MSW Brings Calm to a Crisis at Boston Children's Hospital

What the job entails

Jacqueline is a Clinical Social Worker in the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s Hospital. In this intense role, she identifies and works with patients and families in need of support and resources related to urgent medical care, as well as complex health and social issues—homelessness, abuse and neglect, bullying, and domestic and community violence. As a member of the trauma team, she responds to crisis cases and “code blue” emergencies throughout the hospital.

“I have very limited time with families,” says Jacqueline. “That pace demands that I think on my feet and adapt quickly to give our patients all they need for a safe discharge.”

What brought her to Simmons

Jacqueline chose Simmons, she says, after hearing about its superior clinical preparation and supportive academic environment from fellow alumni of Clark University, where she graduated with a degree in psychology in 2017. She came to the program, she reports, “to learn different approaches to trauma-informed care and to tailor my practice to the individual before me.” 

How Simmons prepared her

Interested in practicing with children and families in a hospital setting, Jacqueline enrolled in the Health Care & Social Work certificate program. In addition to comprehensive coursework, she appreciated that Simmons incorporates “invaluable, realistic” clinical simulations with actors in the classroom. This training, she says, “pushed us out of our comfort zones and prepared us for the challenges of the field.”

Jacqueline completed her first placement at TechBoston Academy, where she provided individual and group counseling to middle and high school students. In her second year, she received focused training in integrated behavioral health for medically underserved and vulnerable populations in the Simmons Integrated Mental Health Primary Care and Clinical Training (SIMPACT) program. As a SIMPACT Scholar, she interned in the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s, which led to her current position. A summer internship at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and a research project with Professor Hugo Kamya rounded out her experience.

“Simmons gave me the confidence, skills, and support to succeed and put me on track for my career,” says Jacqueline. 

Why it’s rewarding

“Practicing in the Emergency Department at Children’s is an experience like no other,” says Jacqueline. “It’s the rare chance to see children and their caregivers together in one room and to bring a sense of calmness to the crisis, as well as to provide resources that they can use later to make their lives better.”

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