Celebrating Social Workers and Their Important Role in Health Care

Senior women in wheelchair holding hands

We’re currently celebrating National Social Work Month. It is an opportunity to show our appreciation for everything that social workers do throughout the year for our patients and their families. Let’s take a closer look at the role of a social worker in health care and how they help people.

What does a social worker do?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. They are employed in mental health clinics, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals and many other settings. Becky Wiersma, a social worker at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, describes her role as “celebrating patients’ biggest victories and supporting them through horrible tragedies.”

Why are social workers so important?

Social workers are vital to hospitals. While nurses and doctors are there to care for a patient medically, social workers help alleviate stress and offer support for patients and families across the entire healthcare continuum. According to Abi Pineda, a social worker at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, “a social worker helps patients and their families understand a particular illness, work through the emotions of a diagnosis, and provide brief supportive counseling about the decisions that need to be made.”

Pat Watson, LCSW, says “I like the fact that we have an opportunity to initiate change and empower people.”

Janet Saxon, LMSW, grew up in the foster care system and had social workers for many years until her late teens. As an adult, she pursued her Masters in Social Work and is now a Clinical Social Worker at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. “I enjoy being a Clinical Social Worker and making a difference in others’ lives,” she says. “It is with great pride and respect that I give honor to the social work profession and my peers in the hospital setting.”

Social Work Appreciation

Have you had a special encounter with a social worker? We’d love to hear your story. Show your appreciation on social media – Use the hashtag #SocialWorkAppreciation.

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