My Purpose to Serve Others Continues to Ring True!

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(Original post date 9/10/13 and updated 11/5/2019) As I mentioned last week, I’m moving into round 2 of my studies at GWU. I came across the statement of purpose I wrote in April 2013 and wanted to post it here as it continues to ring true for me!

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE written by Amy E. Botkin

My purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University is to learn about the intricacies and efficiencies of serving as an expert witness in my area of expertise. As a rehabilitation counselor, life care planner and placement specialist, my focus is often on facilitating healthy return to work outcomes.

Prior to my current career, I worked as a marketing representative for a staffing agency that placed people into clerical and light industrial jobs. This work experience offered me a base on how to match people with the world of work. I understand the concept of incorporating the needs of employers with the needs of job seekers.

My background as the leader of a diverse group of placement specialists afforded me additional insight into challenges affecting job seekers. In my practice, as well as with the experiences within our group, I visit employers and find that personalities and fitting in, as well as proof of skills, may be the strongest indicator of a successful placement.

However, in perspective the job seeker may not believe he or she has the capacity to meet the employer’s expectations. Therefore, the job seeker is not successful in the initial stages of a job search, leading to feelings that may further disintegrate their role and performance as a qualified job seeker. Therefore, my career goal is to continue with my consulting practice and incorporate specific work-life identity skills training.

Ringing True!

As a freelance writer on a part-time basis, I develop stories about locally owned businesses, mostly from a personality perspective by interviewing business owners to learn about their background and what brought them to this particular business. I gain much insight and detail into what brings a person to their career.

My ability to draw out a person’s background information is also useful to guide a person who has lost their job due to illness, injury or disability into a new or similar job that continues to use their assets, albeit in a new form.

My research interests are in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, specifically how personalities, lifestyles and cultures form a person’s work identity. When taking into consideration a serious injury or accident that leads to disability or functional limitations, I would like to identify and assess unique methods to adjust the factors related to essential functions of a job that may be beyond a person’s capacities (either physically, emotionally or intellectually).

I would like to learn how to (Shadow) Box!

Using the skills gained from this program, I’d expand my research methodology for my client, evaluee or customer. Presenting novel material in front of a jury will allow me to separate from the common counselor and be viewed as a credible source of unique material that is specific to the needs of the case. With this new knowledge and skill, I would feel even more confident expressing my opinions. I look forward to my studies.

Thank you for reading my blog post. Contact me ~ Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP, FRC ~ Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Life Care Planner, Forensic Rehabilitation Consultant to discuss your how I can help you help your client.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Randy’s Jobs, Work Ethic, and How About a Nap?

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[Initially posted  Feb 4, 2013] I started writing about work ethic and about my husband too. There’s a reason or two for my posts on these subject matters, you can read my disclaimer here. But first, a little story about Randy.  

As a teenager, one of Randy’s first jobs was as a newspaper carrier. He tells me his mother Marylin ousted him out of bed at 4:00 AM when she got home from her data processing job at a downtown Des Moines bank.

hit the hayMarylin Would Then Hit The Hay

Randy donned his mail bag, left home, and waited patiently at the corner for the newspapers to arrive. He then walked all round Saylorville (the little town not the large lake!) to deliver the news for the Des Moines Register.

Big News

Here Comes Big News!

When Randy’s paper route was done and he got back home he would return the favor and try to get his father Jim up out of bed. Jim worked at AT&T in downtown Des Moines (and did so for 40 years up until his retirement). After his dad was up (or Randy gave it his best try) he then got ready for school. For three of his high school years Randy handled a newspaper route.  We often revisit his route by auto!

Is that the reason he still likes to read the hard copy of the paper, or at least the sports section? Could it be the reason he has no trouble getting up early in the morning? Could it also be why he and my dad have this special bond? Click here for a blog about my dad’s work, including his Sunday morning Des Moines Register newspaper motor route delivery days.

Bottom line here, parents influence moral and ethical development. I truly believe that you develop your work ethic through the example set by your parents. My parents Ann and Dick; and Randy’s parents Marylin and Jim were very hard workers and very caring people!

Botkin FamilyThe Botkin Family ~ Randy, Kyl, Marylin & Jim

Everyone in my immediate family, my brother Michael, both my sisters Julie and Janice; and my brother in-law Kyl exhibit strong work ethics. (My brother Steven did too, he never missed a day!)

Employers rank a strong work ethic as one of the top qualities they seek in the employees they hire or move up in the organization.

The best definition of ethics is: a system of moral principles and perceptions about right versus wrong. 

There are ten work ethic traits: appearance, attendance, attitude, character, communication, cooperation, organizational skills, productivity, respect and teamwork. 

If you have a case where work ethic is in question or certain work traits are paramount to an individual’s work background, please let me know. My number is 515-778-0634. I want to help you help your client tell their vocational story realistically, persuasively and yes, even creatively! 

Thanks for reading. Now it’s time for me to consider taking a nap,  especially after the Super Bowl last night! Is it ethical to take a nap whenever I want to? Yep, it is a benefit of self-employment considering I have no paid time off!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Seeking Help from Others…Michael from Malaysia and Eeyore from Pooh Corner!

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Okay, next up to blog about is the Microeconomics for Non-Biology majors course I took in the Spring of 1995. Although I took micro and macroeconomics during my DMACC days (and recall doing okay), this course at ISU was overwhelming. Therefore I am proud to say, I sought out help!  I visited student services and was given names of potential tutors to contact.

That is how I found Michael from Malaysia! I hired Michael as my tutor and boy did he make me work and study hard. I remember taking notes upon notes upon notes, and meeting with Michael many times between classes. I received a B+ in the course and am very grateful for his help. Bottom line is I trusted him!

I sought help from Michael from Malaysia!

At some time everybody has difficulty accomplishing a goal that is important in life. Seeking help from others is a sign of self-respect.

Along with seeking help through student services, during difficult times I’ve also used the services of a mental health counselor and found group counseling beneficial to learn about myself and how my relationships impact others. I believe in other helpful therapeutic approaches such as Healing Touch and Meditation to help with my body, mind and soul. And I am very fond of Yoga too!

I had a great mentor in my earlier days as a vocational counselor. And I’ve been blessed to have a mentor in these early days of my work as a Life Care Planner.  I embrace the fact that being trained in one field of expertise does not provide immunity from continuing to seek help from others within my field(s) or from other people in other fields. Continue on….for an example using one of my favorite characters!

Three stuffed Eeyores live in my office!

Although Eeyore can be a pessimistic and gloomy old donkey at times, one of his goals is to become the happiest donkey in the Hundred Acre Wood. He lives in Pooh Corner in his stick house, ya know and it can be overwhelming for him at times when he experiences distress.

Eeyore knows that to solve his problems he needs help. He’s not afraid to ask for help, accept help or offer help to help others. Examples include how Eeyore allows his friends to help him out of the river when he falls in, build his house when it tumbles down, put his tail back on when it falls out, and finding it when it gets lost which is really distressful!  

Just as important, Eeyore livens up his friends when they are feeling low. Eeyore is a thinker, a planner, a consider-er. Nothing flits through his brain. Every thought and fact is held up for careful consideration, it’s value weighed and measured, and then precisely cataloged in his orderly brain for future reference. Eeyore is insightful and capable of great compassion.  See why I love him?

“Thanks for noticin’ me” & “Ohhh-kayyy”

What can I do to help your client through difficult times, for example, following an accident or injury? I accept referrals from insurance carriers, claimant and plaintiff attorneys, and employers. I also accept assignments from self-paying individuals, and work with a range of community agencies.

Eeoyre and Amy at Disney World, 1997!

If you’ve experienced a work injury, reach out to your workers’ compensation adjuster to ask for assistance with returning to work or seeking new employment. New opportunities may arise in another field of employment. Remember Michael and Eeyore and their trustworthy personality. I hope I can serve you in that fashion.

I’m happy to help and will carefully consider your situation! 

 Contact me, Amy Botkin, at 515-778-0634 or at my email address amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to start a discussion about your case.

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Assessment, Assessment, Assessment and More Assessment! Need Your Client Assessed?

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I performed a self-assessment and wrote a paper titled “Self-Assessment of Competencies for Entry Level Health Educators” for the School Health course I took while attending Iowa State University in the fall of 1994.

Self Assessment

I remember typing my paper on a Power Mac and using a dot matrix printer! Remember how to carefully tear the sides off after you gently folded at the seam?  I read my paper (it was yellowed!) scanned it in and recycled the paper (one of my purposes of blogging is to clear out my office of lots of paper!) I won’t bore you with the entire paper, but here’s the original cover page, the introduction and the conclusion:

INTRODUCTION

I am a non-traditional student (if there is such a term) who has worked for 12+ years and made the move to return to school to fulfill a personal goal. Please keep in mind as you read my self-assessment that I have based many skills and competencies on activities I have performed in the past at the workplace.

I have been employed as a nurse’s aide, a medical records clerk, an agricultural statistics gatherer, and a secretary for the State of Iowa. Currently, I am a medical transcriptionist and a placement specialist.

My position as a placement specialist has offered me many skills that can be related to a health educator. This position is for a rehabilitation consulting firm, and as a placement specialist, I work with individuals who have been injured on the job and are now receiving workers’ compensation benefits. My objectives involve offering the client job seeking skills training to return them to meaningful employment as outlined by their personal goals and health history. My education nursing school, secretarial science, liberal arts and community health education. I have many credits!

The paper then focused on how my skills / competencies (including those I would need to acquire) and related life experiences help in the following areas:

  • Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Education Programs
  • Acting as a Resource Person in Health Education
  • Communicating Health and Health Education Needs, Concerns and Resources.

And the … last page … the  CONCLUSION

This self-assessment is an excellent tool to use when identifying your strengths and weaker areas of professionalism and room for growth. I put a lot of work into this assessment, as it let me seriously look at why I took various courses and which ones pertain to my future as a health educator. This assessment will help me compile an up-to-date resume, and also gives me a tool which I can use when interviewing for a job.

Although I feel I have many useful skills, I need to refine many of them. With the incorporation of all the knowledge I have gained through my community health education major, I am VERY MUCH looking forward to finding a position where I can utilize all my skills and competencies.

The professor, Dr. Frank E. Shabel, made comments in red ink throughout the assessment, and on the last page of the paper he wrote:  Amy, This is the most thorough assessment I have had in two years. You have gained much through the process. Save a copy for future employers. A+ 35/35 4 pages? (Note it need have only been 4 pages, but mine was 9…typical me.)

The paper is a blast from the past and I see that I did a pretty good job of doing what I said I needed to do!  That being to utilize and develop the skills and competencies I wrote about in the fall of 1994!  And very importantly, since then, I focused in on developing my assessment skills.

An assessment is the estimation of the quality or ability of something or someone.  It is imperative to gather complete, reliable and valid information from the person who is the recipient of an assessment.  

Image result for clip art assessment image

I perform vocational assessments, transferable skills assessments, job assessments, educational assessments, employability assessments, job seeking skills assessments, job search assessments, labor market assessments, educational / training assessments, small business assessments, independent living assessments, life care planning assessments, motivational assessments, occupational health assessments, plus more!
Image result for assessment

If you’d like to learn more about my vocational assessments, or any of the other many assessments available, and how I focus on individual while keeping uniqueness in mind, give me a call at 515-282-7753. You can also find documents for download and click on the sample vocational assessment link.  I’m happy to help assess your client’s assessment needs! 

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Feeding the Sharks…Even Babies Bite Hard!

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[Original Post date: March 26, 2012] Feeding the Sharks…Even Babies Bite Hard!

I fed sharks!  Incredible!

To explain:  My son Jake (he’s a high school senior) needed help feeding the fish at Central Campus over spring break.  Central Campus is a regional academy of the Des Moines Public School District in Des Moines, Iowa. The campus provides extended and unique learning opportunities to students.

Jake is a student in the Aquarium Science program taught by Kirk Embree.  Students experience aquatic animal husbandry and aquaculture in a new facility modeled after a public aquarium.  The “fish” are on the 3rd flood of the “old tech high building” and you have to see it.  It’s very impressive.  The entire building is getting an incredible face lift (it used to be a Ford assembly plant).  I’m proud of what DMPS is doing to improve learning environments.

There are over 100 aquariums totaling 16,000 gallons of saltwater!

Last year Jake and his cohort traveled to the Bahamas for a 10 day field ecology trip and explored the ocean. And other areas of life while down there too!  He certified in scuba diving for the trip.  What stories he shared! We are privileged to have this wonderful learning academy accessible for our youth!   Here’s a short video about the marine program.

Sharks have all the senses we have (smell, taste, touch, eyesight, and hearing). They can also sense electricity and vibrations in the water. However, a shark’s primary sense is a keen sense of smell. It can detect one drop of blood in a million drops of water (~25 gallons) and can smell blood 0.25 mile away!  

To feed the sharks, I used a realllly long needle with raw shrimp on the end.  They snatched it right up and I let out a bit of a scream!

That would bite!

To change tones of this post I have a question.  Have you seen the movie Swimming With Sharks also known as The Boss and Buddy Factor?  It’s a 1994 American comedy drama film directed and written by George Huang.

Buddy Ackerman, an influential movie mogul, hires Guy, a naïve young writer, as his assistant. Guy who has just graduated from film school, believes that his new job is a golden opportunity. Despite warnings from Rex, the outgoing assistant who has become hardened under Buddy’s reign, Guy remains optimistic…Unfortunately, Buddy turns out to be the boss from hell…..

The above is from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I’d rather feed than swim with the sharks!

A “shark” can be a greedy or ruthless or treacherous person.  I tend to understand that “swimming with sharks” means “working with ruthless, back-stabbing people who will stop at nothing to achieve their own goals (like profit).” In this sense, a shark doesn’t care what he does to you or a company. He “attacks fiercely” in order to achieve his own goals. The “attack” could be perfectly legal, even though it might hurt a lot of other people.

Pay attention to “sharks”

I counsel clients through the job placement process, and we pay attention if it appears there’s sharky behaviors coming from potential employers.  I also counsel myself when it comes to the potential of swimming in water that may be infested with sharks.  In a future post I will talk about my role in litigated cases as an Expert Witness.  Stay tuned and keep watch!

 Even cute baby sharks bite hard!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Solutions for People With Disabilities

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Solutions for People With Disabilities


Job Placement Services

Matching People With Their World of Work

Matching People Within Their Own World of Work

Job Analyses & Job Descriptions

Life Care Planning Services

Image result for life

Occupational Health Consultation

Rehabilitation Counseling*

*For more information visit CRCC | Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, CRC
www.crccertification.com/

I LOVE REHAB

Vocational Case Management

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Vocational Research Assignments & Staffing Placements

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Vocational Resources, Plus consults on workers’ compensation, personal injury and disability cases by providing qualitative research services and consultation as well as direct service provision. Due to the nature of return-to-work, each vocational assignment is situational and individualized. The goal is to provide a clear and concise picture of the employment options currently available to the evaluee or client.Related imageResearch is based on a wide range of criteria and utilizes solid methodology and fact gathering techniques. Accurate and objective reporting details up-to-date information to define and enhance the direction of the case.

Assignments vary greatly, and include differences in level of education, skills, abilities, aptitudes, socio-economic factors, physical limitations and an assortment of employability factors.

Image result for direction

Vocational Resources, Plus has performed indepth research on many vocations and identified various factors that have helped to prioritize issues for the case at hand.

For a listing of vocations, please click on the link on my website. Also, as a matter of fact, I’ve also placed hundreds of workers throughout Des Moines. Here’s my client roster list from my days as a marketing representative for a staffing company:

Client Reference List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now old piece of paper, you’ve been recycled! Please let me know what I could do to help you help your clients!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:
Connie R. Ward
info@lcpresourcesplus.com

VOCATIONAL RESOURCES PLUS ANNOUNCES LIFE CARE PLANNING SERVICES

DES MOINES, IA – Vocational Resources Plus, LLC  is launching a new service to help families and other organizations plan for long term health care needs by matching necessary care with the costs of providing that care.

The service, which produces an individual “Life Care Plan,” creates a guide to care that families can use to answer questions regarding future medical care and costs associated with an individual’s life-long healthcare needs.

And families aren’t the only ones to benefit from care planning that matches needs with costs. Insurance companies, law firms and others also need to know what care is necessary, and how much it will cost.

“With all the changes we are experiencing in healthcare service delivery, life care planning benefits individuals and companies involved in decision-making” says Vocational Resources Plus owner Amy Botkin. “We all want the most and the best, but there are costs attached to everything a patient needs”

“For example, litigated claims, when being addressed by a jury, need accurate information about care and costs to help in determining fair and equitable claims, payments and settlements.”

Botkin, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Drake graduate, has partnered with Sharon Hamilton, RN, CNLP, to add Life Care Planning to the range of services already available through Vocational Resources Plus. Hamilton, a Certified Nurse Life Care Planner, sees another benefit.

“Life Care Planning services incorporate vocational rehabilitation into the care planning process. With Amy’s expertise in job placement, combined with trends in assistive technology, we are well equipped to return the person to gainful employment with an accountable cost structure. This helps the bottom line.”

Botkin has been providing vocational consultative services to the insurance and legal industry since 1999. Hamilton, a Registered Nurse, has more than 20 years experience in home care case management, including eight years focusing on persons with disabilities.

The life care planning process draws on three areas of practice: Worker Compensation, Personal Injury and Long Term Disability. Vocational Resources Plus, LLC consults with people who want help to address the intricacies of insurance claims in these areas.

For more information, please contact Amy E. Botkin at 515-282-7753 http://www.linkedin.com/in/amybotkin

Vocational Resources Plus, owned by Amy E. Botkin, identified the need for services in Des Moines, a major insurance center with nearly 60 life, health, and casualty companies.