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The Importance of Social Workers in an Hospital

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The Importance of (A Case Study of Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City)




There are many notions of what the role of a er should be; we identify the more prevalent of them. They are not presented in terms of any historical or chronological continuity but – to assist this brief analysis – almost as ideal type Francozo and Cassorla (2004). They are readily identified in the literature about . They are also inextricably associated with the value and principle seen to underpin in general. Social workers in hospital necessary work alongside other health care professionals and other relevant health care profession and the perspectives on held by doctors and senior nurses are relevant both to their relationship with ers and to the smooth running of the hospital (Kearney, and Skehill, 2005).

The nurses and doctors roles rated the quality of practice predominantly by the extent to which the er was seen to identify unambiguously with the hospital and its ethos: but they also set great store by the presence and easy accessibility of a er, and they preferred regular contact with the same person (Popple, Philip N, 2008). They saw the er as a lay agent within the health care framework, and acknowledge that the social care role and the er’s link with the community were crucial component of a good hospital practice. Medical is a sub-discipline of , also known as hospital . Medical ers typically work in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice, have a graduate degree in the field, and work with patients and their families in need of psychosocial help.

Medical ers assess the psychosocial functioning of patients and families and intervene as necessary. Interventions may include connecting patients and families to necessary resources and supports in the community; providing psychotherapy, supportive counseling, or grief counseling; or helping a patient to expand and strengthen their network of social supports. Medical ers typically work on an interdisciplinary team with professionals of other disciplines (such as medicine, nursing, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy, etc.) The medical ers job is to perform assessment with patients to assess for any physical, mental or emotional needs they assess the family support system and link the patient with service to help with care if needed. Baresford, (2000) assistance with financial concern, such as not being able to afford medication or pay household bills. Gould (2006) some ers provide counselling to patients who are suffering from depression or who are having difficulty coping.

Ultimately, a er links and makes referrals to agencies to assist the patient with all of these services. Butlerlan and Giverda (2004) in most cases, er can provide a great deal of assistance and support to help a patient cope emotionally and financially deals with illness. In addition, healthcare staff also feel comforted when they know the er is going to help the patients because it means that they have fewer problems with the patient not getting necessary treatment. Refugee Council (2005) ers help educate and provide support to patients and their families. Just like nurses, physicians and therapists, ers are experts in their field. One of the main benefits of a er is helping to be sure the patient knows what services are available. This can help increase patient’s safety and increase the possibility that the patient will not return to the hospital.


The rate at which people are affected by mental illness is alarming in the world and Nigeria in particular (WHO, 2001), and at times the psychiatrist alone will not be able to manage the problems of most of the neurological patients. Hence the role of ers in psychiatric hospital is vital, to help diagnose the social problems of patients. In recent years, evidence has shown that increase in mental disorder are attributed to social problems such as unemployment, divorce, retrenchment, addiction, religion, low standard of living, loss of parental love, lack of educational achievement etc.

Such a situation does concern all mental health and allied professionals, essentially of er practicing in mental health institution believes that mental health disorder are ly attributable to social problems that characterize society.


i. To create awareness about how ers work with patients and their families.

ii. To enlighten the public about how medical er assess the psycho social functioning of patients and their families.

iii. To create awareness on how medical er counsel mental patients and their families. And how ers help to expand and strengthen the network of support to patients.

iv. To create awareness based on how er’s plan and conduct programmes to prevent substance abuse or improve health and counselling in community.

v. To educate the public about how medical er’s intervene as advocate for patients to resolve emergency problem.

vi. To create awareness, formulate or co-ordinate programmes plan for treatment, care and rehabilitation of patients based on er experience and knowledge.


This study will focus on the roles of a er in psychiatric hospital, Uselu, Benin City. The focus will be the patients in Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City.


The significance of this study is to create awareness on the importance of medical er towards promotion of psychological well being of individual, families and community. It will also reveal how medical ers work with other medical practitioners with the aim of finding resolution to patients’ problems, with intention to ameliorate or solve their problems.


INDIVIDUAL AND CHILD : This is concerned with the er getting to know the well being of the patients or family as a whole.

COUNSELLING: This involves er listening and attempting to understand the patient and provide answers or solutions to patients’ problems. Counselling is mostly conducted in private and the discussion is confidential. Counselling is concerned with problems solving behaviour modification process.
CHILD : This is concerned with the er’s finding solution for the well being of the children in the hospital, various humanitarian organization and meaningful individual.

RNSTRUCT: This is concerned with conversing a patient in ways in which is expected to change his/her behaviour.

1. To help them to have a normal life again.

2. To make sure they stop associating with their bad peer group which always lead them to drug.

3. To counsel them about the danger of taking hard drugs like Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin, etc.

HOMELESSNESS: If a patient is homeless the medical officer/er will liaise with the voluntary/statutory agencies that specialize in working with homeless person in the state, to provide shelter for the patients.

DISCHARGE : This complex process which begins on a person’s admission in hospital, involves assessing, counselling and planning. It may involve issues as:

1. Loss of independence and control

2. Separation from loved ones

3. Adjustment to life style changes and or possibilities of not returning home.

4. NETING: Is the practice of liaising with statutory and voluntary services and agencies, to keep patient/families/careers informed of their right and linking them with appropriate support network and group.

5. ELDER : The practice of helping the elderly people in society (Greene Roberta, 2008), if any individual has any suspicion/concern that any elderly has been abuse or may be at risk of abuse, they should contact the medical er immediately.

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