What Does a Social Worker do in a Hospital Setting?

Social Worker Responsibilities in a Hospital Setting

Once you have achieved your degree in social work, you are going to need to decide what area of social work you want to work in. You can work in a school setting, a private practice, home care or in a hospital setting. Social workers actually play a very important role within a hospital setting. It has been named as one of the most meaningful jobs out there according to Forbes. They are responsible for helping both the patients and the families when it comes to a patient’s illness as well as their treatment plan. Stress can be placed on a patient when they find out their diagnosis and this can also be a big burden to their family members. All of this information can lead to an overload and you as the social worker will provide information, support and resources to everybody that is involved.

The Skills You Need

When you work as a social worker in a hospital setting there are a number of different qualities that you need to possess. You will need to assess the needs of a family and a patient. From there you can provide whatever support that it is they need. You also need to have the ability to assess the community and its affect of a patient’s health and their long term treatment plan. Providing interventions when need be and outside resources is key to a person’s long term success and health.

The Type Of Plan Needed

Once you have assessed a patient you will need to figure out what kind of services you will provide or where you will need to direct a patient. There are so many different aspects of social work that you may need to consider and this can include things like anger management, drug addiction rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, healthcare, grief support, etc. More information on the different sectors of social work can be found here: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm. Some of this support you will be able to provide on your own thanks to your degree and education but there are other times you will need to refer a patient or their family to another resource. It is important for you to know what outside resources there are and what the most credible ones are.

Family Support

Many people don’t realize that there is support that is needed for families that are dealing with their family member being in the hospital. Sometimes a traumatic injury can bring a lot of stress and anxiety to a family while a terminal diagnosis can be utterly devastating. While it is important to make sure that a patient is ok with what they have learned and what has happened, it is also incredibly important to make sure that the family is ok as well. After all, they will be the ultimate support system for the patient as they recover or undergo treatment.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Masters in Social Work: 2018

Social workers have been trained in a number of different areas of expertise that can include human behavior, teamwork, communication skills, how to negotiate with people, research, resources and much more. Working in a hospital setting will require you to understand many different medical terms and understand how a facility like this works. This is a fast paced environment that keeps you moving. You will always see something new but the social workers who thrive in this environment are those that understand their role well and want to help. This can be a very rewarding experience.