7 Facts About Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings

by Marisa Bordowitz 

  1. Medical social work utilizes three theoretical perspectives: 1. the biopsychosocial model 2. the strengths perspective (aforementioned) and 3. a multilevel practice. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 200.)
  2. The biopsychosocial model model views the patient under a holistic microscope, amalgamating ties to a patient’s health, psychological state, financial state, family life, employment, culture, and religion (just as it is sensitive to the types of oppression and its impacts) It fixates on the disease and its treatment. The concerns of a social worker (in application if this model) extend past merely how the disease affects the patient. Social workers are also concerned with how the patient’s environment affects the disease and the patient’s general healing process.  (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 201-202)
  3. The strengths perspective within a medical field, as in other fields, recognizes and elucidates the strengths and resources of the patient (rather than pointing to the deficits that accompany diseases – as the medical model may do). The strengths perspectives strips the patient of his/her victim status, and tries to see an inherent capacity for survival ( despite adversities). (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 202)tumblr_mjx5whxoZy1rio9qmo1_500.gif
  4. The multilevel approach is just what it sounds like. It entails both the biopsychosocial model and the strengths perspective. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 202)giphy.gif
  5. Medical social workers are a massive help to the LBGTQ community. They are essentially a voice for minorities. Their services are culturally sensitive, aiding patients with their physical and psychological well-being. They arrange support groups specific to gays (such as groups namely partners of transgender individuals and lesbians with cancer). (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 208).giphy.gif
  6. Part of the social worker’s obligation is to advocate for their patients in the “health care organization or community.” They are an asset to the recovery process, as they can in some sense be a voice for the voiceless. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 204).
  7. The main goal of social work within the medical practice is to ameliorate the health of people through one of the most mediums – communication. Social workers will interact with individuals, their families, organizations, communities, nations, and global structures. It is evident that social workers are a very necessary ingredient in the health care system – especially considering the emotional, physical and financial tolls dealing with diseases/illnesses can entail. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 214)



DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a
challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books

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