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Social worker in a nursing home?

Any social workers here? If you work in the nursing home, what are your daily duties? Problems? Advantages? Why do you work at nursing home?

Please go into details – I need to decide about my major soon and I am not sure…I think about school social work, by I have some good experience with elders services

It's a shame that some people think social workers do not do anything… there are individuals from every discipline throughout the long term care community who do not care about their patients, but to make such a sweeping generalization says loads about a person's burn-out level. I am a social service director of a nursing home in a small community. We specialize in dementia care and have two units especially for this purpose, as well as other units which are utilized for higher functioning patients, including rehab. Our bed capacity is just over 100 when full. Our population is very diverse, with ages ranging from early thirties to 100+. I chose this setting for several reasons. Everyday I am very busy and LOVE IT. I have gotten the greatest satisfaction working with the elder population in particular, and have a special personal affinity for dementia/alheimer's care. Most nursing homes employ only one full time social worker. I have visited some places which have more, usually part time persons to supplement one full timer. My job is to provide psychosocial assessment and counseling to residents and families, as well as discharge planning. I had extensive background in Hospice prior to my current employment in long term care, which has greatly assisted. I do A LOT of counseling regarding grief and loss, adjustment to placement, and various psychosocial issues. I provide resources to both families and patients based on issues presented, and believe me, there is a hige reange of issues to work with. I developp specific care plans based on the needs of individual patients. I work very closely with physicians and nursing staff each day, and I have to say that the team approach where I work provides innumerable benefits to our residents. I monitor and make recommendations to physicians regarding the use of psychoactive medications, and lead group sessions with families and patients. I also teach in-services to staff reagrding such topics as resident rights, HIPPA, stress issues, and behavioral interventions. I personally have a great relationship with the staff in my facility. I think in order to be a successful nursing home social worker, you have to be very flexible. I take a lot of pride in the fact that residents come first in my our facility, paperwork second. Staff do not hestitate to call me to assist in any psychosocial issue that is presented, from combative residents to tearful families at the bedside of a dying patient. As a nursing home social worker, you'll utilize all of the roles you learn about in your college courses. I have worked with populations of every age group (even children need grief counseling), race, and religion. If you are currently acquiring your BSW, I recommend considering getting your Master's Degree, as this will enable you to work further with specific mental diseases as well as make diagnoses. The fiedl of gerontolgy is growing like mad, and so social workers that specialize in this field are more and more sought after. I hope I was of some help… GOOD LUCK!!! PS… I once attended a prestigious conference on Alzheimer's disease. The panel of speakers included five physicians of various specialties and… an MSW. I felt a great deal of pride in this… social workers often are not given the credit or respect they deserve. However, your residents will give you that credit and respect every day.

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