The social work practitioner will act as a primary resource to patients and their families in the sickle cell disease comprehensive clinic and to the Blood Research Center. Responsibilities will include: psychosocial/needs assessments, supportive counseling, health education, resource referral, assistance with educational, employment or insurance problems, loss and grief work.
As a primary resource to the medical team, the social worker will demonstrate candid and supportive communication, identify obstacles to optimal patient care (e.g., institutional rules, communication or personality styles, social circumstances, etc.), and facilitate effective problem solving and conflict resolution. The social worker will be a bridge to community-based organizations serving persons diagnosed with sickle cell disease and their families and advocate for best practice.
The role of the medical social worker is one of advocacy and liaison among patient, family, hospital and community. Here, remote assessments of patient reported outcomes and mental health will be emphasized, as we seek to develop a collaborative care model with more remotely based patients, families, and practitioners. Helping the patient understand and adjust to hospital procedures, interpreting and explaining medical plans, providing the opportunity for ventilation of feelings, assisting the family with financial planning, are tasks faced by this member of the health care team. Facilitating communication among the patient, his family, and the health care professionals involved is a constant focal point of the social worker’s treatment plan. Recognizing the strengths which lie within the family system and encouraging the use of these assets by all members of the health care team is the unique contribution of the medical social worker.
This position has duties and responsibilities relative to direct patient care. Receiving and maintaining credentialing/appointment as an independent Allied Health Professional at UNC Hospitals will be part of this position. Licensure and reappointment are maintained per continuing education and other requirements every two years.