March is National Professional Social Work Month and this year's theme is "Social Work Matters." Social Workers practice in a variety of settings, working to provide support and resources to help strengthen individuals, families and communities. They look for inherent strengths that can be used for further growth and change to help individuals and families cope with and overcome problems.
Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) Social Worker, Kristi Barnett explains the role of a Social Worker in Long Term Care as, "to enable each individual to function at their highest level of social and emotional well being."
At GCMH, involvement with Social Services often begins even before admission. It is often the role of the social worker to help market their facility, give tours to potential residents and families, as well as assist with pre-admission planning. Following admission, the social worker helps the person make the transition from their previous living environment into this new setting. Once established, the Social Worker will continue to see that needs are being met and that the resident is given the opportunity to participate in their own care, as they are able.
Kristi Barnett, Social Worker at Grundy County Memorial Hospital.
The Social Worker also works closely with the interdisciplinary team (Nursing, Dietary, Activities, Provider, etc.) to look at each resident holistically. Through these interactions with staff, as well as family, the social worker will try to identify any potential negative impacts on the resident's current social, psychological, emotional, spiritual or physical well-being and, if possible, assist in preventing or relieving them if they occur.
Specific tasks generally part of a social workers duties include, but are not limited to: Marketing and providing community education about services. Assisting with admission and discharge planning. Completing psycho-social assessments as well as other required assessments. Development of a holistic plan of care with the interdisciplinary team and participating in resident care conferences. Assistance with insurance information, questions and applications. Providing referrals to community resources as required or appropriate. Advocating for and protecting resident rights. Ensuring the social and emotional needs of the resident are being met.
For more information, please contact Kristi Barnett, Social Worker, at (319) 824-4129. Visit www.GrundyCountyHospital.org for more information on GCMH services.