They’re there during some of the worst parts of a health crisis, and help coordinate care and offer direction to grieved loved ones. Yet, they can be the least-talked about when it comes to patient care. Since March is National Professional Social Work Month, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group would like to take some time to recognize the many things these key people in the care process do for patients:
- They provide education to families so they can feel better-prepared as caregivers.
- They assist older adults in the transition back to their homes after being discharged from the hospital, thus cutting back on readmission rates.
- If an older adult cannot transition back into their home, the social worker helps them transition into an extended care facility.
- They coordinate services such as home health care, transportation to doctor’s offices and obtaining of home medical equipment.
- They advocate for patient needs to ensure they receive adequate care.
- They provide counseling to families during tough times, such as when a loved one is facing death.
- If a loved one is dying, they help the family develop a plan such as obtaining hospice care for when the time of death does occur.
- They help patients identify community services to help them remain independent, such as Meals on Wheels.
- They monitor a patients’ well-being, and alert doctors and nurses if there is a worsening in their condition.
- They listen without judgment while patients and their families discuss their fears and concerns.
- They make sure families are kept abreast of what the next medical steps are for a patient, as well as update them on the patients’ status.
- They help a patient come up with their own individualized plan of care and goals for recovery.
While doctors and nurses provide for the physical side of care, social workers are there for the mental, emotional and spiritual side. Without them involved in patient care, patient needs would not be adequately met. Johns Hopkins Home Care Group is proud of the social workers we have on-staff, and we thank them for the hard work that they and the many social workers we work with in the healthcare community do.