THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL WORKERS IN AN HOSPITAL
This research work was conducted precisely to find out the need for the awareness and relevance of medical social worker
in the hospital. The main instrument that was used in this study was
the questionnaire which was designed in a way that will enable the
researcher to have strong evidence about the importance of social worker
in the hospital, particularly in the Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin
City. It was also aimed at identifying the various important roles
social workers play in the rehabilitation of patient in the hospital. At
the end of the work, useful recommendations were made; some of which
are government should encourage all social workers by way of providing
them with in-service training. Enhance remuneration and regular
elevation in their places of work as they are made to face the
challenges of societal problems everyday.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.0 Background of the Study 1
1.1 Statement of the Problem 5
1.2 Objective of the Study 6
1.3 Scope of Study 7
1.4 Significance of Study 8
1.5 Definition of Terms 8
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0 Psychiatry Social Work 12
2.1 Rehabilitation 17
2.2 Social Welfare services to Patient and Relatives 18
2.3 Patient Employer Consulting Services 19
2.4 The Doctor Patient Relationship 20
2.5 Admission Problems, such as Non-compliance with
2.6 Case Conference 29
3.0 Research Methodology 38
3.1 Population of Study 39
3.2 Sample Size 39
3.3 Method of Data Collection 39
3.4 Method of Data Analysis 40
4.0 Data Analysis 41
4.1 Discussing the Result 42
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
5.0 Summary 58
5.1 Conclusion 59
5.2 Recommendations 61
2.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There are many notions of what the role of a social worker should be;
we identify the more prevalent of them. They are not presented in terms
of any historical or chronological continuity but – to assist this
brief analysis – almost as ideal type Francozo and Cassorla (2004). They
are readily identified in the literature about social work. They are
also inextricably associated with the value and principle seen to
underpin social work in general.
Social workers in hospital necessary work alongside other health care
professionals and other relevant health care profession and the
perspectives on social work held by doctors and senior nurses are
relevant both to their relationship with social workers and to the
smooth running of the hospital (Kearney, and Skehill, 2005).
The nurses and doctors roles rated the quality of social work
practice predominantly by the extent to which the social worker was seen
to identify unambiguously with the hospital and its ethos: but they
also set great store by the presence and easy accessibility of a social
worker, and they preferred regular contact with the same person (Popple,
Philip N, 2008). They saw the social worker as a lay agent within the
health care framework, and acknowledge that the social care role and the
social worker’s link with the community were crucial component of a
good hospital practice.
Medical social work is a sub-discipline of social work, also known as
hospital social work. Medical social workers typically work in a
hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice, have a graduate degree in
the field, and work with patients and their families in need of
psychosocial help. Medical social workers assess the psychosocial
functioning of patients and families and intervene as necessary.
Interventions may include connecting patients and families to necessary
resources and supports in the community; providing psychotherapy,
supportive counseling, or grief counseling; or helping a patient to
expand and strengthen their network of social supports.
Medical social workers typically work on an interdisciplinary team with
professionals of other disciplines (such as medicine, nursing, physical,
occupational, speech and recreational therapy, etc.)
The medical social workers job is to perform assessment with patients
to assess for any physical, mental or emotional needs they assess the
family support system and link the patient with service to help with
care if needed. Baresford, (2000) assistance with financial concern,such
as not being able to afford medication or pay household bills. Gould
(2006) some social workers provide counselling to patients who are
suffering from depression or who are having difficulty coping.
Ultimately, a social worker links and makes referrals to agencies to
assist the patient with all of these services. Butlerlan and Giverda
(2004) in most cases, social worker can provide a great deal of
assistance and support to help a patient cope emotionally and
financially deals with illness. In addition, healthcare staff also feel
comforted when they know the social worker is going to help the patients
because it means that they have fewer problems with the patient not
getting necessary treatment.
Refugee Council (2005) social workers help educate and provide
support to patients and their families. Just like nurses, physicians and
therapists, social workers are experts in their field. One of the main
benefits of a social worker is helping to be sure the patient knows what
servicesare available. This can help increase patient’s safety and
increase the possibility that the patient will not return to the
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The rate at which people are affected by mental illness is alarming
in the world and Nigeria in particular (WHO, 2001), and at times the
psychiatrist alone will not be able to manage the problems of most of
the neurological patients. Hence the role of social workers in
psychiatric hospital is vital, to help diagnose the social problems of
patients. In recent years, evidence has shown that increase in mental
disorder are attributed to social problems such as unemployment,
divorce, retrenchment, addiction, religion, low standard of living, loss
of parental love, lack of educational achievement etc.
Such a situation does concern all mental health and allied
professionals, essentially of social worker practicing in mental health
institution believes that mental health disorder are directly
attributable to social problems that characterize society.
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
i. To create awareness about how social workers work with patients and their families.
ii. To enlighten the public about how medical social worker assess the psycho social functioning of patients and their families.
iii. To create awareness on how medical social worker counsel mental
patients and their families. And how social workers help to expand and
strengthen the network of support to patients.
iv. To create awareness based on how social worker’s plan and conduct
programmes to prevent substance abuse or improve health and counselling
v. To educate the public about how medical social worker’s intervene as advocate for patients to resolve emergency problem.
vi. To create awareness, formulate or co-ordinate programmes plan for
treatment, care and rehabilitation of patients based on social worker
experience and knowledge.
1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study will focus on the roles of a social worker in psychiatric
hospital, Uselu, Benin City. The focus will be the patients in
Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this study is to create awareness on the
importance of medical social worker towards promotion of psychological
well being of individual, families and community. It will also reveal
how medical social workers work with other medical practitioners with
the aim of finding resolution to patients’ problems, with intention to
ameliorate or solve their problems.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INDIVIDUAL AND CHILD WELFARE
This is concerned with the social worker getting to know the well being of the patients or family as a whole.
This involves social worker listening and attempting to understand the
patient and provide answers or solutions to patients’ problems.
Counselling is mostly conducted in private and the discussion is
confidential. Counselling is concerned with problems solving behaviour
This is concerned with the social worker’s finding solution for the well
being of the children in the hospital, various humanitarian
organization and meaningful individual.
This is concerned with conversing a patient in ways in which is expected to change his/her behaviour.
1. To help them to have a normal life again.
2. To make sure they stop associating with their bad peer group which always lead them to drug.
3. To counsel them about the danger of taking hard drugs like Indiam hemp, cocaine, heroin, etc.
If a patient is homeless the medical officer/social worker will liaise with the voluntary/statutory agencies that specialize in working with homeless person in the state, to provide shelter fot the patients.
This complex process which begins on a person’s admission in hospital,
involves assessing, counselling and planning. It may involve issues as:
1. Loss of independence and control
2. Separation from loved ones
3. Adjustment to life style changes and or possibilities of not returning home.
Is the practice of liaising with statutory and voluntary services and
agencies, to keep patient/families/careers informed of their right and
linking them with appropriate support network and group.
The practice of helping the elderly people in society (Greene Roberta,
2008), if any individual has any suspicion/concern that any elderly has
been abuse or may be at risk of abuse, they should contact the medical
social worker immediately.