8 Holistic Facts about Healthcare Social Work

1.) “Early roles of the medical social worker consisted of assisting patients with chronic disease management, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, physical disabilities, terminal conditions, and accessing extended care services” (Judd and Sheffield 857)


2.) A hospital social worker can see as many as 60 clients a month (Judd and Sheffield 862)


3.) Most of the time a social worker spends at work will be one on one interaction with patients (Judd and Sheffield)


4.) A hospital social worker doesn’t only work with patients though; sometimes they participate in non-patient care activities such as income-generating projects and addressing bioethical issues (Judd and Sheffield 866)


5.) Social workers can also utilize a bio-psychosocial perspective and design programs that focus on wellness and health education (Judd and Sheffield 868)


6.) Health illiteracy is a huge problem for people trying to seek medical care, fortunately, there is a lot that can be done to help alleviate this issue. Patient education and support, system improvements, and health care provider accommodations are all services that could have a positive impact (Liechty 99)


7.) Social workers can work with families to build health literacy knowledge and information-seeking skills during counseling and casework interactions ( Liechty 104)


8.) Some of the most important issues to a hospital social worker are health equality, quality of care, healthcare access, and cultural and linguistic relevance.



Judd, R., & Sheffield, S. (2010). Hospital Social Work: Contemporary Roles and Professional       Activities. Social Work in Health Care, 49(9), 856-871.                                                                         doi:10.1080/00981389.2010.499825


Liechty, J. (2011). Health Literacy: Critical Opportunities for Social Work Leadership in               Health Care and Research. Health & Social Work, 99-107.


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