What does a medical social worker do? These professionals help patients cope with illness and changes in life by short-term counseling, long-term planning, and access to community resources and services. Medical Social Workers (MSWs) also assist patients who are in at-risk circumstances or are experiencing hardship. They advocate and make recommendations for the patient and his or her family to better their living situation and quality of life.
After performing a thorough assessment to identify the patient’s physical and emotional needs, the home health social worker develops individualized short- and long-term goals to ensure the best outcome for the patient. Such plans may include:
- Arranging for follow-up treatment and caregiving services
- Offering counseling as needed
- Assist with nursing home placement
- Assisting with ALF (assisted living accommodations) placement
- Coordinating community resources – such as non-medical transport or Meals on Wheels
- Enrollment in identified service needs