SIGNIFICANCE OF SOCIAL WORK IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Healthcare is one of the significant sectors of societies. Not only does it contribute substantially to a nation’s economy, but an established healthcare system is also integral to provide medical facilities to the people. Healthcare has expanded a lot in the last few years, and many new subfields have merged. Moreover, advanced technology has transformed many practices. Recent researches, discoveries, and technology continue to evolve in the healthcare sector. On the other hand, modern life has become hectic, and today’s age, people are exerting themselves and are encountering many medical issues. High Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol have become very common now, and people suffer from them even of young ages.
Social work has taken the shape of the full-fledge field and encompasses many subfields. It is where individuals work towards human development, to bring a positive change in society. Social workers work in different settings and provide their support and help to the people in need. The catastrophic disasters, be it natural or humanmade, leave many people affected, and some vulnerable people go numb in such cases. Some suffer psychologically and are unable to carry out regular tasks. Social workers intervene and lend a helping hand and work alongside them until victims are independent enough to take care of themselves.
Social workers work alongside healthcare professionals, as most of them have undergone training and insight into fundamental health issues and facilities. Healthcare social work has emerged as a field, and it has enhanced healthcare practices. Social workers’ role is crucial in the healthcare sector. The outbreak of COVID-19 has shaken the world, and health experts say that sanitization and social distancing are the only way to protect societies. Social workers have been working tirelessly to provide sanitation facilities and raise awareness about the disease’s severity.
Social work is for those students who want to join a career that gives them opportunities to help humanity and earns a handsome income. Reputable institutes are proposing Masters in Social Work online, as the field has gained immense momentum. Besides, online degree programs have removed geographical barriers, and students can enroll in these degree programs from anywhere in the world.
Social work holds immense significance in the healthcare system, and below we are giving a comprehensive insight into the working of social workers in healthcare.

1. INFORM PEOPLE

Medical treatments do not come in social work’s domain, but social workers encourage people to look after their health and give them insight into its importance. They possess convincing skills and talk to people in tone and language that they can comprehend. Social workers work to raise awareness among the masses that taking care of one’s health should be the priority to avoid health issues in the future.

2. COUNSELING

Some medical conditions have adverse psychological effects on people, and they find themselves unable to cope with stress. Some refuse to undergo surgery or other aggressive treatments, while it is the only cure for the disease. Other individuals battle with anxiety and depression after losing a loved one or getting handicapped in an accident. Social workers intercede in such cases and motivate people to look at the glass half full. They counsel and help affected people to come to terms with the new reality. Healthcare professionals can use social workers’ counseling in many settings as these workers possess convincing magical powers and have a better understanding of human nature.

3. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Healthcare is expensive, and any unfortunate event can put a dent in anyone’s pocket, especially those who do not have an insurance policy. Social workers can provide these individuals with the resources and financial assistance they may require. They work to enhance community-based healthcare service, where less privileged can get access to medical facilities and find a cure for themselves. Various older people need to get their vitals checked from time to time, and they cannot afford regular visits to laboratories. Medical social workers have undergone training in running necessary tests, and they help older adults scan their vitals.

4. NEGOTIATION

Social workers interact with all kinds of medical professionals. From nurses to surgeons, lab technicians to physicians, they facilitate all medical people who require their assistance. In many cases, several medical professionals have to work with each other, and they end up arguing as not all of them may agree on a procedure. Arguments among medical teams are common, but they may have severe consequences for patients. Social workers negotiate, clear the air, and make sure that they all work in a peaceful environment. Often, the clash between doctors and patients’ ethical, moral, or religious values occurs because healthcare professionals are not always aware of these sensitive issues. Social workers intervene and listen to both parties and play their part in resolving conflicts.

5. ETHICAL ASPECTS OF HEALTHCARE

Healthcare social workers have a broader perspective, and they understand people’s concerns better than medical professionals. They give their input in the formulation of healthcare policies and rules. They educate doctors on how to deal with patients with sensitive issues and history. For instance, a victim of child abuse needs medical assistance and also require support in other aspects. Questions may be a necessity, but they may trigger the child’s trauma. Social workers educate healthcare professionals in ways of dealing with such patients.

CONCLUSION

Social workers deal with people from all walks of life, and they learn something new with every case they encounter. They offer different viewpoints and help other professionals in various settings, pinpoint the facts that others might overlook. Healthcare social workers have been of great assistance to the community and medical people. Social workers go out of their way in aiding medical professionals or patients to enhance humanity. Healthcare social work has become an integral part of the healthcare system, and doctors and nurses rely heavily on them.