Medical Social Work as a Profession in Worker’s Compensation

By Teresa Williams, MSW LCSW
Chief Executive Officer
HomeCare Connect

According to National Association of Social Workers, medical social work is a sub-discipline of the social work profession wherein qualified social workers provide education to patients and their families about a particular illness or injury and counsel them through decisions that need to be made. The goal of the medical social worker (Med.SW) is to remove obstacles, whether in the patient’s surrounding or in mental health issues, so the patient can recover both physically and mentally. Medical social workers assess psychosocial functioning along with environmental and support needs of the patient and family, and intervene as needed.

In worker’s compensation, medical social workers are usually called upon to assist in the recovery process after a serious, sometimes life-threatening injury. Historically, medical social workers provide assistance with discharge planning post-hospitalization after an accident, linking the injured worker to resources that will support the recovery process once discharged. They work on an interdisciplinary team with other medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapists. (read the complete article)

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