By Sam Engel
One of the most prevalent places in which social workers are needed is in hospitals and other health care facilities. This is known as clinical social work. Clinical social workers can provide a variety of services, from providing links to services for the patient’s family to providing direct patient care. As the demand for more health care professionals skyrockets, including mental health care professionals, social workers are now needed more than ever! Here’s three facts about social work in the clinical setting.
- Social workers are involved in multiple levels of health care. This includes the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of health care. The primary level of health care is direct care to the patient, and this can include providing psychotherapy treatments. The secondary level of health care includes preventative care, such as mental hygiene and continual therapies. The tertiary level of health care includes health care education (Class Lecture 3/1/2016).
- Social workers provide necessary advocacy for minority patients. Specifically, the LGBT community is stigmatized in the health care system, and they are unfortunately discriminated against by some health care professionals. Social workers provide advocacy for this community of patients, and as a result, primary care clinics are beginning to combat these discriminatory sentiments (DiNitto & McNeece, 2012).
- Other health care professionals use social work as a training model. Many of the core pillars of social work are now stressed when training new physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. This includes providing the highest quality of care, and maintaining positive patient interactions (Class Lecture 3/1/2016).