Madison Wingert
Medical Social Worker, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames, Iowa
Madison Wingert

Heart for others

Madison’s role as a medical social worker looks different every time she goes to work. Most days, she assists patients in the emergency department, connecting them with resources for homelessness, substance abuse and mental illness. Other days, she works with elderly patients who are transitioning to nursing home care, or with parents who need items for their newborn baby. Regardless of whom she works with, Madison strives to show her patients compassion and acceptance.

What led you to apply for your current position?
During my time at Northwestern, I discovered that I love working with the elderly—one of the client groups I now serve. They have so much wisdom and life experience to share. I appreciate that they know what they want and aren’t afraid to tell me! My experience shadowing a hospital social worker also helped me realize I am very comfortable in hospital settings.

What are the strengths of Northwestern’s social work department?
A huge strength of the social work department is the professors. They each bring so much social work experience to the classroom and create safe and comfortable spaces for learning and conversation. All of my social work professors became mentors to me, and I still reach out to them when I need to talk or ask questions about the field.

Did you complete an internship? If so, how did it help prepare you for your career?
Through Northwestern’s Denver Urban Semester, I completed an internship at Brent’s Place, an organization that provides long-term housing to kids with cancer and their families. One of my main tasks was to lead and help with a meal night program. Volunteers from the community would bring ingredients to make and serve a special meal, and I would ensure that preparation went smoothly and was sanitary. My favorite part was sitting and sharing the meal with the kids and their families after everything was prepared. Working at Brent’s Place pushed me out of my comfort zone and confirmed that social work was the field I wanted to work in.

How did NWC prepare you to lead a life of significance?
My time at Northwestern was such a sweet four years of my life. I still had many hardships, but I made and grew relationships with people who are so wonderful. I learned so many things—not only about social work, but also about life in general.