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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What do medical social workers do?


From The Cavalier Daily on 01/23/19 by Zoe Ziff
The following describes the role of Medical Social Workers at the University of Viginia Hospital

"Medical social workers are integral parts of the hospital and oversee much of the non-medical aspects of a patient’s recovery. Their duties include assessing the social and psychological states of the patient, leading counseling and group therapy sessions, working with loved ones on a plan of treatment after discharge from the hospital and referring patients to community resources.  

At the University hospital, each social worker is assigned to a specific unit — such as surgery and trauma, pediatrics or psychiatry. With each new admission into the unit, they look through the patient’s medical history for indicators that a social worker needs to be involved in their case. A few of those indicators include mental health history, a poor prognosis, a history of substance abuse, homelessness and history of child or domestic abuse. 

“Social workers get involved from the beginning,” Repaske said. “Even if we're not called in to see every patient, we are assessing by a high risk indicator need .… Could everyone benefit from a social worker? Absolutely.” 

A social worker will meet with a patient and conduct social and psychological assessments if the patient has an indicator on file or if the social worker simply feels the need to.  

“I'll meet with the patient,” Kojo said. “I’ll let them know what my role is, why I'm seeing them, pretty much just like as a brief check in. It builds rapport with them, and then eventually, I let them know that it's part of an assessment that we just want to make sure that their needs are being met. Ideally by the end of the assessment, we've identified what they need assistance on, and then, we work with them during their admission in order to reach those goals.” 

For more click here.

Editor's note:
It is important to recognize and acknowledge that a person is not his/her body. The person's psyche and relationships are as important, if not more important, than the person's physical manifestation. 

A significant question is whether a person is a body with a spirit or a spirit with a body? 

Modern medicine is comprised of techical prodcedures which focus on assessment of physical functioning and with tunnel vision, all too often, overlook the person's psyche and soul.

Social Workers are trained in the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of the human experience. With this training, Social Workers engage with the whole person not just the piece of meat in which their psyche is encased. While Social Workers strive to help people with a "cure for what ails them" they also attend to the healing of the whole person and their relationships when it is desired and appropriate.

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