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Getting to Know the Medical Social Workers – Who Are They

medical social worker

People often hear about social workers and how they protect the vulnerable, especially those who need support and assistance. Yet, not everyone is familiar with the different types of social workers in the community. If you plan to volunteer to be one or need their service, understanding what they do can help you in the process. 

This article will focus primarily on medical social workers and what you should know about them and what they do. 

Who Are the Medical Social Workers?

Medical social workers specialize in anything related to the health industry. They are the people you see in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitative care centers, and other similar services. Some medical social workers have a specialization, while others opt to serve a broader range of patients. 

They can work independently, but they still need to collaborate with other medical professionals like administrative staff or discharge coordinators to perform their job better.

Their Primary Work

Medical social workers today provide the following services: 

  • They help patients prepare for all the changes they will go through in a new health institution 
  • They help the family members and guardians ensure that the transition process goes smoothly for the patient in all aspects, including discharge planning, grief counseling, and more—whatever is needed to move forward with the process. 

The Different Hospice Volunteer Types

You would find patients with advanced and life-limiting illnesses in hospice care, and it is where most medical social workers provide their service. If you are considering this, you need to be familiar with the different types. The kind of volunteer you are defines what kinds of work you can provide. Here are some of the most common types you would encounter:

Administrative Volunteers

You can volunteer as part of the administrative staff. It is the perfect job for those whose strengths belong in administration work, clerical duties, data management, and organizing the hospice’s day-to-day operations. It does not involve working directly with the patients, but your role would be essential to ensure that the hospice runs as it should.

Patient Care Volunteers

If you want to spend some time with the patients, you can become a patient care volunteer. These people are involved with medical and hands-on care for the patients inside a hospice. As a patient care volunteer, you would need to provide companionship to the patients by talking with them, engaging in their favorite activities, and doing some everyday tasks. That could include preparing meals, grocery shopping, helping out with the daily chores, and accompanying them to their appointments and checkups. 

It would be best if you are patient, compassionate, and empathetic. It is perfect work for people who find fulfillment through helping others. 

Music Volunteers

If you have musical talent and can provide entertainment, you can participate as a music volunteer. Patients in hospice can get bored, but having someone entertain them through good music is something they might love. 

Physician Care Plan Oversight

If you are already a physician or nurse practitioner, you can still volunteer in a hospice through the Care Plan Oversight program. It is helpful for people with a complex situation that requires careful monitoring.  

Conclusion

Volunteering is a great way to connect with people and do small ways to make the community a better place. It is also a need in the medical industry. Hospices need all the help they can get, especially patients who must rely on people in the remaining days of their lives.

Bridge Home Health & Hospice provides hospice care and home care services to people in need. If you want to become a volunteer and want to assist with us, we would love to hear from you. We have long been committed to providing excellent service in our community. Please contact us at Volunteer@bridgehc.com to learn more about what we do.

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