Social work has been related and involved in the field of health care since its inception. The objective was to help better understand the situation of the people that the medicine attended, and facilitating to the professionals the realization of a diagnosis and treatment more linked with the social reality of the patients.
In 1978, the World Health Organization reiterated firmly in Alma-Ata’s statement that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of diseases, and it is a fundamental human right.
The Hospital Social Work is one more in the gear of all the services that the user (sick person and/or relatives) may need as a specialized service. And it deals directly with the problems generated by the disease situation within the hospital, in a population that has as its common denominator the loss of health and the consequences that can be derived from it: relational, emotional, economic…
It intervenes during the whole process, from the beginning of his care either by urgencies, external consultations, hospitalization, until the patient leaves the hospital.
We can define this task as “the professional activity that aims to investigate the psychosocial factors that affect the health process and loss of it, as well as the treatment of problems that appear in relation to disease situations, whether related to its trigger, as if derived from these”. (Amaya Ituarte, 1993).
- Contributing to the recovery of patients and to the improvement of their quality of life in all aspects (family, work, environment …), helping to solve social problems, meeting needs, strengthening capacities and own resources, for the promotion and improvement of well-being.
- Attending to a population that has as common denominator the disease and the consequences that can be derived from it, whether relational, emotional or economic, through personalized attention to the patient and support to the family in relation to all the social problems that can generate this situation.
- Facilitating people to fully develop their potential and prevent dysfunctions.
- Attending and treating the social needs of various kinds, presented by the patient or family, during their stay in the hospital, so that they do not obstruct their treatment or incorporation into their habitual environment.
- Reducing the average hospital stay.
- Attending individually, guiding and informing the patient and / or family of existing resources.
- Acting as a coordinating link between health institution services and social services and different levels of health care.
Social Worker/ Miquel López