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Medical social work has expanded far beyond the  walls of hospitals. Medical social work is now practiced in myriad  settings, including inpatient hospital units, hospital-based outpatient  clinics, community-based medical clinics, mobile medical facilities,  public health organizations, nursing homes, and hospice facilities. The  types of treatment and modalities used by medical social workers are  dictated by the health care settings in which they practice, the mission  of the facility, the policies that govern the facility, and the  individual patient’s needs.

To prepare for this Discussion,  consider the role of the medical social worker in different health care  settings. Think about a health care setting (such as a chronic care  hospital, specialty hospital, public health department, or rural  hospital) that is appealing to you.

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the  health care setting you selected. Describe the patient population(s)  served at the setting. Explain how the medical social worker functions  in this health care setting. Identify factors about the health care  setting that might challenge the medical social worker. Explain why.  Explain ways you might address the challenges.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific  references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate  APA format and style.


Beder, J. (2006). Hospital social work: The interface of medicine and caring. New York, NY: Routledge.
Chapter 12, “Social Work in the Emergency Room” (pp. 135–142)

Beder, J. (2006). Hospital social work: The interface of medicine and caring. New York, NY: Routledge.
Chapter 14, “Social Work on the Psychiatric Unit” (pp. 151–161)

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of health social work (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Chapter 4, “Public Health and Social Work”
Section: “Levels of Practice and Components of Prevention” (pp. 78–79)
Section: “Types of Public Health Social Work Interventions” (pp. 79–80)
Section: “Public Health Social Work Practice Today” (pp. 80–81)
Section: “Preparing To Be a Public Health Social Worker” (pp. 81–82)

Findley, P. A. (2013). Social work practice in the chronic care model: Chronic illness and disability care. Journal of Social Work [Published online before print]. doi:10.1177/1468017313475381

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