March 12, 2018
Every year Social Workers are celebrated for the contributions they provide to society. Social Workers assist in making impactful change in the lives of patients, their families, and the community. The Social Workers at HPHA are a part of the interdisciplinary teams on all inpatient units along with Outpatient Mental Health and the Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team.
HPHA is fortunate to have three skilled and knowledgeable Social Workers covering our inpatient units. With hopes to improve patients' overall well-being, these dedicated Social Workers assist with patient advocacy, family meetings, community referrals, and supporting patients with achieving basic needs such as housing and finances.
Currently at HPHA there are four inpatient Social Work interns. The interns have been instrumental in assisting with the recent bed overflow and have gone above and beyond for the patients. They have embraced the learning experience and have achieved greater skills and knowledge as a result of the social work leaders they have mentored under.
The SWLHIN also employs Social Workers who should be recognized for their hard work at HPHA. They are committed to providing quality care by linking patients to local community supports and services and to ensure recovery at home is achievable.
Our outpatient Social Workers represent HPHA in the community and have fostered community relationships and partnerships with a number of organizations. They are committed to providing patient care in creative and sometimes challenging environments. Outpatient Social Workers are a critical element to maintaining patient wellness in the community.
The theme chosen this year by the Canadian Association of Social Workers 2018 is Bring Change to Life. We asked the Social Workers at HPHA what that means to them, and these are a few of the responses we received:
“Bringing change to life can be facilitated through patient empowerment - Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
“Bringing change to life can be scary and exciting, but without it we are stagnant. It allows us to grow, learn and think differently. Change challenges us, and removes us from our comfort zone.”
“One of my favourite quotes is ‘they forget your name, but they never forget how they made you feel' – Maya Angelo. This is so true for all of us in how we interact with our patients, colleagues and community partners.”
“Bringing a positive change to life of the patients is an important role of Social Work. First of all, it starts with the critical assessment of client's needs and your own biases. Then, the strengths-based perspective allows us to see beyond the disease, illness or disability to the social determinants of health, while adopting a more holistic approach, being aware of issues of equity and social justice, respecting client's autonomy and providing informed consent.”
The Social Workers at HPHA are appreciative of the hard work of the health care professionals at HPHA, which in turn makes supporting patients and their families that much easier.