Case Management

Mentor moment: A Salute to Case Management Social Workers

Case Management Weekly, March 16, 2011

Happy Social Worker Month! The National Association of Social Workers’ theme for this year’s celebration is “Social Workers Change Futures.” This is indeed a very appropriate, accurate theme because social workers can certainly change the future for many patients. 

At my hospital, social workers are a respected and key healthcare partner in providing appropriate discharge planning. They are relationship builders who bond with patients and families. They are experts in relationship development, problem-solving, and in coaching patients and/or families in coping with new life situations and illnesses. It is not uncommon for the patient and/or families to request a conference with our social workers to better understand community resources and the discharge plan.

Social workers bring a holistic approach to care collaboration. Our social workers communicate with physicians, nurses, case managers, and other healthcare providers in assessing, planning, and monitoring discharge plans for patients. They advocate for the patient and/or family in ensuring that the care team develops and executes an appropriate discharge plan. The key role of the social worker is ensuring that the discharge plan is safe and healthy. Thanks to the social workers, when a patient’s future changes, the patient is prepared for it.

So please honor your social workers, not just during social worker month, but throughout the year. They are the key to successful discharge planning and they indeed do have the capability to change the future for many patients.

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