- Social workers use the biopsychosocial model, which looks at the patient holistically and understands not only the patient’s health, but also their state of mind, their family situation, their cultural background, their religion, and many more aspects that may influence how the patient responds to treatment. Social workers must go beyond the hospital bed and take concern with the healing process and how it affects the patient (DiNitto & McNeece 201).
- Social workers also take into consideration one of the core aspects of their field: empowerment and self determination of the client. This means getting the patient to fully understand their disease, how they are being treated, and how the patient can work to empower them self to hopefully “thrive in the face of adversity” (DiNitto & McNeece 202).
- In many healthcare settings, it is evident that social workers will have to work with other professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, police officers, case managers, and many more, who come from different practices. Interdisciplinary teams are common, and social workers know the importance of a collaborative effort to provide as much and the best service a patient can get (DiNitto & McNeece 204, 206).
- Medical social workers can work in the micro, mezzo, and macro practice settings.
- Micro practice: Social workers focus specifically on the individual patient and their loved ones. Those working in this setting must have knowledge about the client population they are targeting and the information about the health problem and treatment (DiNitto & McNeece 202).
- Mezzo practice: Social workers in this practice work with the local community and organizations and must have knowledge about the issues these communities face and how to address these problems (DiNitto & McNeece 202).
- Macro practice: According to DiNitto & and McNeece, this practice “involves policy analysis and development, program planning, and political advocacy for adequate and equitable health-care services for all Americans.” Social workers at this level must be up to date with the latest healthcare issues, know the health care systems are the local, state, and national levels, and try their best to advocate for the needs of their clients(DiNitto & McNeece 203).
DiNitto, Diana M., and Aaron McNeece. Social Work Issues and Opportunities In a Challenging Profession. Third ed. Chicago: Lyceum, 2007. Print.