The Medical Social Worker: A Neglected Ally in the Management of Patients with Burn Injuries
Burn injuries come with enormous challenges and devastation to the victims. The consequences get worse when multiple members of a family are involved. Social supports are necessary, especially where health financing is mainly through out-of-pocket expenditure. The use of Medical Social Workers (MSW) in burn care in our region is limited, and their roles are poorly or inadequately reported. This study appraises the role of MSW in the multidisciplinary management of burn patients. We report the management of an impoverished family of five who sustained varying degrees of burn injuries, and the role MSW played in their care. Beyond being a routine discharge planner, the MSW provided social support, psychotherapy and rallied community support, which translated to an improved outcome for the patients. Involving MSW in burn care provides great benefit to patients. Burn surgeons are therefore encouraged to use the added value of MSW on their teams.
Keywords: Burn, Injury, Medical social worker, Healthcare financing
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