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<November 2019>
Moving Forward With Stroke - Goderich
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm / Goderich: Harbor Hills Retirement Community / A drop-in support group for adult stroke survivors and caregivers!
Welcome Reception: Dr. Nadine Potvin
Clinton - Central Huron Community Complex: Libro Hall / 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Your thumb is the same length as your nose.
Around The Alliance!
Physician Recruitment in Stratford
Patient Partner Profile: Joani
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!
Huron Perth and Area Ready to Take the Lead in the Province’s Vision for Improving Health Care
Physiotherapy Myths Debunked!
smallTALK Hits a Significant Milestone!
Clinton Public Hospital Second Floor Set to Reopen
Laboratory Adjustments at Clinton Public Hospital & Seaforth Community Hospital
Supporting Our Patients Through Art
Charting A Course to Success
Q & A With A Quality Assurance Lead
HPHA Recognizes Excellence at its Annual General Meeting
Putting a Face on Organ and Tissue Donation in Our Communities
Q & A with Purchasing/Inventory Support
Q & A with an Emergency Department RPN
Getting to Know our Rehabilitation Assistants
Patient Partner Profile: Laurie
The Role of Occupational Therapy in Stroke Rehabilitation
A Day in the Life of a Lactation Consultant!
New Transition Bed Program to Strengthen Mental Health Services in Huron & Perth
November Blood Donor Clinics
Notice of Service Disruption – X-ray Exams at Clinton Public Hospital
Clinton Public Hospital Emergency Department - Temporary Reduction in Hours of Operation
Diabetes: Protect Your Family!
What's For Dinner Wednesday
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
2019 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.