Brittney Ray is the outpatient social worker at Sibley Heart Center Cardiology. Originally from California, she found her home in Georgia and earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University. Brittney began her career working for The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) as an investigator in Child Protective Services. She also worked with both adults and children in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. Children and families have always been her passion, and she is grateful to be able to make a difference in the lives of the families at Sibley.
What do you do here at Sibley?
My role at Sibley as a social worker is to offer support to our families who are facing various hardships. Some families may need help financially or assistance navigating healthcare and social security. Other families may need assistance coping with their child’s medical condition and adjusting to all the extra care that their child needs. My role is to assess each family’s situation and to identify what resources are needed, while offering support and encouragement.
What led you to this career path?
I’ve always been drawn to a career where I am working directly with people, especially children. As a social worker, I’m able to empower people to dig deep within themselves to identify their strengths. A lot of times when I’m done working with a family, they are in a better place emotionally, mentally and physically. This career is very fulfilling because you get to see the results of your work in how well our patients are doing.
What is a typical workday like for you?
There is no typical day as people are unpredictable, and as a social worker my whole day revolves around the specific needs of the families I’m working with.
What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of my work is the feedback I get from my families. Hearing how I have positively impacted their lives is worth every stressful minute of the job.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
The hardest part of the job is realizing that I can’t help everyone. At the end of the day, I can’t be everything for everyone, and that is hard because I want to see all our patients and their families doing well.
What advice do you have for parents when they are new to Sibley?
The advice I have for new patient families is to make sure to take advantage of all the resources that are available to you. I hear families say that they don’t want to be a burden, but we want them to understand that anything that can be done to lighten their load, especially in a time when they are dealing with a child with complex medical needs, is our pleasure to do.
Do you have any helpful resources you would like to point families to?
I think that Kids at Heart is an excellent resource for families of children with CHD. I encourage all families to get connected even if they’re not able to attend all the events. Just being connected via social media will give them access to so much firsthand knowledge, along with encouragement and support from other CHD families.
For more information about Sibley Heart Center Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.