Our Medical social workers are patient advocates and counselors who perform social service assessments, refer patients and families to medical resources and provide patient and family assistance in obtaining community resources. Most importantly, a medical social worker works to assure that the best interests of the patient are being met.
Medical social workers advise and counsel patients and their families. They explain the nature of an illness and advise the patient and family on how to effectively deal with symptoms and treatment. A medical social worker also serves as a grief counselor to help patients and families deal with the trauma of experiencing a chronic or acute illness.
Families and patients often do not know where to turn to get medical care. A medical social worker assists patients and families in finding and arranging services such as in home care, nursing home care and counseling.
Acute and chronic illnesses are expensive. Families may not be able to financially provide for the care of an ill family member. If the ill person is a parent, financial support for the care of dependents must also be dealt with. Medical social workers refer and assist patients in obtaining financial assistance, food assistance and health care coverage through city, state and federal programs.
At times, a medical social worker serves as a patient advocate. The medical social worker acts as an intermediary between patients and the medical community. They are the voice for people who have communication barriers or cultural differences that make effective communication challenging. Without the medical social worker, these types of patients often fall between the cracks--their health and emotional needs unknown.