Home Site Map HPHA Intranet Contact Us Privacy Policy
You are Here : Home    News & Events    Around The Alliance!    A Day in the Life: Social Work
<May 2019>
Blood Donor Clinic - Stratford
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. / Rotary Complex
Blood Donor Clinic - Stratford
1 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Rotary Complex
You are five times more likely to need a transplant than to ever become an organ donor.
Around The Alliance!
HPHA Looks to the Future
HPHA's Annual Report at a Glance
Patient Partner Profile: Lynae
Q & A with an Occupational Therapist!
Q & A with a Medical Radiation Technologist!
Canadians Urged to Check Their Risk for Diabetes and Access Support if Needed
HPHA Planning To Increase Breastfeeding Rates
Former Student, Now Staff Member!
Operating Rooms at Clinton Public Hospital Temporarily Closed
Changes to Emergency Department Registration Process at Clinton Public Hospital
HPHA Looks to End Hallway Medicine through System Partnerships
Volunteer Spotlight: Joanne
New Name and Look for St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation
Physician Recruitment in Stratford
Program Profile: Eating Disorders
Update on the Clinton Public Hospital Restoration Project
Q & A with a Patient Registration Clerk
Patient Partner Profile: Joani
A Day in the Life: Social Work
South Lobby Main Entrance of Stratford General Hospital Reopens
HPHA Implementing Temporary Laboratory Adjustments
Pharmacy Sterile Compounding
A Look at Canada's New Food Guide
It's All in the Data
Access to Primary Care
Celebrating 10 Years of the Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team!
MyChart Now Available at HPHA!
Volunteers: Lifting Communities!
Board of Directors Meeting Highlights
Huron Perth and Area Ready to Take the Lead in the Province’s Vision for Improving Health Care
Physiotherapy Myths Debunked!
HPHA's Facebook Protocol
HPHA's LinkedIn Page
HPHA's Twitter Protocol
Media Releases
Blood Donor Clinics
Find a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner
Website Feedback
2018 Pediatric Day Conference Presentations
A Day in the Life: Social Work
March 7, 2019

Tom, Social Worker, gives us a glimpse into the role of the hospital social worker!

The role of the hospital social worker is varied and complex, with each of us bringing our particular skills and strengths to the patient experience. When I introduce myself to a patient I am often asked, ‘What do you do?’ or “Why are you seeing me?’ My answer often starts with ‘I get involved in discharge planning’ but usually I have a specific reason for seeing the patient that I’m able to discuss with them.

Some of the primary duties and interventions which a hospital social worker may be involved in include:

  • Housing (long-term care, retirement, group home, shelter, apartment)
  • Financial Aid (EI, Sick Benefits, ODSP,WSIB, insurance, equipment)
  • Emotional Support (grief, anger, anxiety, depression and mental illness, new diagnosis, parenthood)
  • Addiction (counselling and community referral such as Choices for Change)
  • Palliative Support to Patients and Family
  • Clerical Skills (letter writing, computer skills, statistics)

In our role, social workers must be able to walk into any room and deal with the patient and situation in the moment. To be able to quickly assess and act on the information presented is paramount. Skills such as empathetic listening, knowledge of resources and interventions, and the ability to liaise with staff and community service providers make the role effective.

As a social worker, I often arrange and facilitate family meetings to discuss discharge planning when the discharge is seen as complex or challenging. These meetings allow for the patient, their family and the hospital staff to all hear the same information at the same time, and to each contribute what they can to the patient’s care plan. In this case I work closely with the discharge planner from Home and Community Care. It is not unusual for new information to present itself in these meetings and each piece of information can be relevant to the overall discharge plan. Ideally a discharge date is set with the needed resources in place to support the patient in the community.

While our job can be very busy and hectic at times, it is always interesting. To be a consummate learner and active source of support is rich and rewarding.