Communicating with Social Workers

  1. Please describe how your unit interacts and communicates with social workers. Answers to one or all of these questions will be a great help as I formulate ways to tackle this problem on my unit.

    How does your unit handle communication with your social worker? How is he/she alerted to new cases that require attention? Who's responsibility is it to speak to the social worker and describe the situation? What, if any, documentation forms are in place to serve as a communication tool between nursing and social work? Is there any standardized, daily form of communication between the two?

    Finally, how do you feel your current system works? What are the ways it could be improved?

    Thanks all!
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    About Double-Helix, BSN, RN

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 3,485; Likes: 6,984


  3. by   umcRN
    Social workers are a HUGE part of the ICU's at my hospital. They must do an "assessment" of the family and their needs within 48 hours of admission. The social workers also check in weekly with the families and more frequently if needs arise. If there is a problem anyone can contact the social worker, they have phones like the rest of us and are usually on the unit all day shift. Then there is a social worker on each weekend that covers all the ICU's and there is always a social worker on call in the hospital on night shift. There is no daily, standardized communication between the two, they are just always around if needed, and they fill out notes in our computer charting that we can all access and read about any kind of decisions that may have been made or issues the family is having. I don't think there is much I would change about our current system.