Medical social workers assume various distinct roles in their practice. These roles range from educator and advocate to counselor, liaison, and mediator. The generalist intervention model (GIM) informs medical social work practice, with these roles reaching across each stage of the model. Medical social workers view patients and their problems in context, combine practice skills and techniques that meet the individual situation, and implement interventions across the multiple systems present in the patient’s life. The interventions are implemented on a continuum ranging from micro to mezzo to macro levels.
It is important to be mindful of the fact that patients are not the only people with whom medical social workers practice. It is not uncommon for medical social workers to intervene with family members and support caregivers, cooperate with members of the community, and collaborate with other health care professionals as well.
To prepare for this Discussion, think about the wide array of services provided by a medical social worker. Consider the roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice of the medical social work profession. Examine the medical social work practice skill within the GIM.
By Day 3
Post a description of three primary roles of medical social workers that you consider to be inspiring and rewarding. Explain why. Explain how these roles directly support patients and their families. Explain how these roles might directly address three issues related to patient care (e.g., noncompliance with treatment regimen). Then, describe specific interventions (e.g., patient education to improve treatment compliance) you might implement when performing your primary roles to resolve the three specific issues you selected. Illustrate these issues and interventions with examples (e.g., patient education or health literacy to reinforce treatment regimen).
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.
Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds). (2012). Handbook of health social work (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Chapter 2, “Social Work Roles and Health-Care Settings” (pp. 20–40)