Healthcare Social Work
Since the early 1900’s, professionally trained social workers have helped patients deal with personal and social factors that affect disease onset and recovery. Some health care social workers are in direct services and concentrate on individuals, families, and small groups. Others work in settings where the focus is on community organizations, planning, administration, and policy. In the health setting, social workers may conduct research, develop programs, administer social work and other departments, lead support group, and coordinate community resources.
Most frequently, however, health care social workers provide direct services by assessing a patient’s needs, managing the services a patient may require for recovery, planning for care after hospitalization, educating patients and their families, and helping them cope with illness related personal and emotional problems.
Social workers are vital members of the health care interdisciplinary team, working in concert with doctors, nurses, and other health and mental health professionals. They educate and sensitize other health care providers to the social and emotional aspects of illness.
• Ambulatory care facilities
• Community health clinics
• Nursing homes
• Hospice care facilities
• Home care agencies
• Group homes
• Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)