The Integral Role of Social Workers in Hospice Services
The best hospice services are ones that provide a well-rounded team of diverse professionals. All these professionals have an important role in the hospice care ecosystem. A good hospice care team consists of medical professionals such as physicians and trained nurses along with caregivers, counsellors and social workers as well.
While each professional has their own roles and responsibilities, hospice social workers have responsibilities that help not only the patients but their loved ones manage many complex tasks with much ease.
What does a Hospice Social Worker Do?
The role of hospice social workers may vary depending on the needs of the patient and their families. However hospice social workers are equipped and experienced in handling end of life cases and tend to be helpful in many legal and financial aspects. Here are some of the common responsibilities that one can expect a hospice social worker to undertake :
- Help the family manage resources and access help that is available to them, including support groups and other such public resources
- Help the family contact local authorities to avail benefits such as pro-bono counselling or lawyers for legal documentation.
- Help with crisis intervention and provide psychological support when it is needed.
- Helps navigate severe emotional or psychological distress
- Educate patients and their families about the treatment plan
- Coordinate with the medical team
- Provide psychosocial assessment
Hospice Care Social Worker Requirements
Hospice care social workers should preferably meet the following criteria-
- A bachelor’s degree in social work from any organisation
- Some experience with social work in a hospital or medical environment
- An understanding of Hospice care and any relevant social work experience in the field
- State license to practice social work in the area.
Above all, social workers should have compassion and empathy for people who are suffering from terminal illnesses and the ability to support and guide patients and family members going through this difficult experience.
Hospice Care Social Worker’s Job
Hospice care workers provide guidance pertaining medical procedures and requirements, resource management and also provide emotional and psychological guidance for patients and their loved ones. Hospice social workers are present in the following setups:
- 1. Hospice centres
Most commonly hospice social workers are present in hospice centres and lay emphasis on pain management and end of life resource management. They also provide emotional and psychological support
2. Palliative care centres
These centres are present in hospitals and hospice social workers provide guidance to the families and coordinate with hospital staff to advocate for the patients needs.
3. In-home Hospice care
When patients require in-home hospice care, the social workers help set up the right equipment and coordinate with the hospice care team to ensure proper procedures are followed and all the patients’ requirements are met.
If you are looking for hospice care services with well trained and empathetic social workers, contact us at amedhospice.com