Not an instrument but an orchestra of care!
As an important member of the hospice team, a social worker takes care of the logistics as patients near the end of life. While the physicians, nurses, and hospice aides address the patient’s physical well-being, and the chaplain offers spiritual support, social workers collaborate with the patient and family to prepare them for what’s to come.
A social worker focuses on what the patient needs now as well as the near future as the patient’s condition progresses. All of this is done with a calming presence, creating a harmonious environment.
Social workers also provide psycho-social support to patients and families—counseling them, listening to their stories, holding their hands as they reflect on the meaning of their lives.
The social worker thoroughly relays any concerns families have to the nursing staff, and she uses what she learns from the nurses to assess the options when patients consider commencing home-based hospice care.
Often a social worker has to educate families about where their loved one is in the end-of-life progression and help them understand what they can expect.