The primary mission of the Social Work Department is to provide confidential, professional and timely Social Work Services to Potomac Valley Hospital, Hospice and Home Health patients.

The Social Work Department is staffed by one full time Licensed Social Worker, one part-time Licensed Social Worker, and one part-time (ten hours per week) receptionist/secretary. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. In the absence of social work staff, i.e., weekends and evenings, the nursing supervisor will evaluate any referrals or emergencies and initiate intervention as necessary. Social Work staff are required to have professional training and demonstrated ability to provide intervention and care to patients of all ages, from pediatric through geriatric that receive care within the scope of services at Potomac Valley Hospital.

Services may be provided directly to the patient and/or family/caregivers. These services may include:

Evaluation and Assessment to provide the social data to predict areas in which a patient and family may experience distress and therefore, need help in areas of strength in which they may be able to function. Social Work staff will share this information with the healthcare team if it will enable them to make a more appropriate treatment plan.

Short-term casework counseling related to healthcare/illness. The focus of counseling is on the patient/family or personal/social problems created or aggravated by illness, helping patients/families cope with fears or anxieties about illness, death, etc. and helping patients and families cope with changes associated with illness and hospitalization. If further areas are identified and long term counseling is indicated, referral is made to an appropriate mental health agency or service.

Coordinate planning for post-hospital care through cooperative relationships with other caregivers including the early identification of psychosocial needs and alerting the attending physician of the time factors to assure timely discharge arrangements.

Crisis intervention and treatment resulting from the emotional, social, and economic stresses of illness/treatment.

Evaluation of financial needs in order to obtain needed services, arrange for placement or other referrals. This may include referrals to Human Service Agencies, Veteran’s Services, or referrals to clinics for continued medical or psychiatric care.

Assistance with completion of Medical Directives including Medical Power of Attorney documents, Living Wills, DNR and POST forms. End of Life and Respite Care.

While not part of the hospitals acute care services, respite care provides an alternative care solution for families responsible for the care of a family member in the home. Twenty-four hour care is provided, while you the responsible party, takes a vacation, awaits an extended care or nursing care facility, or just to take a break. This service is administered through the Social Service department.

Advance Care Planning

The Social Work Department will maintain a current listing of nursing care facilities within a 100 mile radius, home care providers, appropriate government and non-profit social service agencies, rehabilitation services and institutions offering care for special needs. Also available, will be information regarding resources such as: mental health services, protective services for children and adults, ombudsman and advocacy services. Patients in need of services will be identified through the discharge planning process and referred to the appropriate agency by the Social Worker or delegate. Because the hospital Social Work Department works well without formal agreements with such agencies and institutions, formal written liaison arrangements are not considered necessary and will not be entered into without the express direction of the Board of Directors in concert with the Medical Staff.

All department personnel will respect the privacy of patients and family members and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.