Social work in health care is more important than you think. Social workers in this field use problem solving methods to assist individuals, families, groups and communities in solving a wide range of health problems. Here are four ways in which social work in healthcare is imperative:
- The American Hospital Association reports that they have social workers in 75% of their hospitals. Social workers services are needed in hospitals for multiple reasons: the importance of all the patient’s needs, patients that require financial help and social service workers create essential links to the community. Because of this, social workers should be in 100% of hospitals.
- Changes in healthcare have impacted the roles and responsibilities of both the patient and the provider. A need for new roles, new models of treatment, new professional competencies and improved training. Social workers in healthcare provide patients, especially those who have chronic health conditions, a different, more suiting, model of treatment that consists of more collaboration between patients and providers.
- Social work is involved at various levels of prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary can include health education, encouraging immunizations, and practicing good mental health in families. Secondary includes encouraging treatment, checkups and early screening programs for detection of possible disease. Tertiary (or rehabilitation) includes preventing further deterioration of a disease or problem. Social work services in healthcare is imperative in order to increase prevention.
- And as always, social work in healthcare reflects a range of responsibilities and functions. This can include the promotion of equality of opportunity, the advancement of social change, and the task of challenging injustice. The need for social workers to provide this advocacy is imperative because if this does not happen, patient care can be compromised by seven common problems that may go unaddressed. In order to assure that consumers will receive funding for care, quality care, protection of their ethical rights, access to services, and receive proper attention to their mental health needs, advocacy is a no-brainer.Sources: All information comes from John Vassello’s “Social Work in Health Care” Powerpoint.