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Clinical Services

Psychosocial evaluation and assessment

Psychosocial assessments are completed by the social worker to provide a summary of the problems to be solved. The social worker will look at a variety of issues, which may include physical/psychiatric illness and its impact, legal status, resources, social support, and environmental concerns. The social worker will continue to be a 'work in progress' while new information is acquired, as circumstances change and as goals are reached.

A plan is developed for helping the patient and family by the social worker. A plan is in corroboration with the patient, family and other corroborating staff. The purpose of the psychosocial assessment is to help identify variables that will impede or facilitate the health care progress.

Help with adaptation to illness or treatment plan

Illness disrupts normal body systems and requires medical intervention that may disrupt social relationships and functioning. The patient’s ability to participate in social, religious, or cultural activities may be curtailed, the ability to earn a living or support a family may be curtailed, the ability to earn a living or support a family may be diminished and family roles and friendships maybe affected. Treatment regimens may impose new ways of thinking and acting, special equipment, or changes in living arrangements.

The social worker will also help the patient and family member cope with the demands related to the patient’s perception of the illness and its impact, previous experiences with this or other illnesses, necessary lifestyle changes, coping with restriction in lifestyle, and adjustments that will be needed by family. The goal is to assist the patient and family in reaching maximum physical, psychological, and social potential.

Discharge planning

Social Workers will assist patients and their families with discharge planning during their hospital stay. This service is designed to assist patients and families in developing and implementing timely and appropriate post-hospital care plans. Post-hospital discharge plans may include return with in-home services or equipment, placement in long term care facility or assisted living, or other arrangements needed at time of discharge.

Discharge planning is an ongoing problem solving process. It may be necessary to develop several alternative plans before a discharge plan can be implemented.

Based on the assessment the social worker will help identify the patient’s medical and psychosocial discharge planning needs, taking into account the patient’s illness and treatment needs, patient and family preferences, level of care, financial resources, services/facilities available, and any special circumstances. The social worker will work with the patient and family to prepare them for discharge from the hospital to post hospital care. As a member of the interdisciplinary team the social worker works to ensure that the patient makes a timely transfer and health adjustments from care within the hospital to alternative resources of care.

Some helpful resources for discharge planning are:

Financial services

Payment of medical care, pharmaceuticals, necessary living expenses, and other financial or material concerns can be additional sources of stress to patients and their families. The expertise of the social workers regarding available resources, specific eligibility requirements and the application procedures is essential in the helping process. Social workers can provide linkage to available resources in the community and governmental programs. They are able to identify unmet needs and advocate for the patient for services to meet their needs. When financial and material stress is reduced the patient and family can focus their energies on coping with the demands of illness and treatment of the patient.

Financial assistance for residents of South Dakota :

Minnesota :

Iowa :

Nebraska :

Applying for Social Security:

Protective services

Social workers are able to intervene on behalf of individuals who may be in danger of harm from others or who are unable to take care of their own physical needs. We are committed to the welfare of those who may have been abused or neglected.Physical abuse, sexual abuse, denial of critical care (neglect), emotional/psychological abuse, and financial exploitation are examples of family violence.Protective services are provided to help suspected victims of family violence.

The social worker is able to identify situations in which a person is at risk, assist other hospital staff in evaluating and reporting situations to authorities, cooperate in subsequent investigations, coordinates discharge plans, and facilitates alternative resources for the person at risk.

Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center is part of the city wide SCAN team which stands for Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect. The city wide SCAN team consists of healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and child protection. The SCAN team was developed to provide a systematic approach to dealing with child abuse. It provides a uniform evaluation and reporting for all suspected abuse/ neglect cases with an objective third-party physician who does not have a relationship with the family. The physician has ongoing specialized training for the team in forensic pediatrics.

Helpful websites