LAURINBURG — Scotland Regional Hospice is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “Social Workers are Essential” to highlight the invaluable contributions social workers make in our society, especially as this nation addresses the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Work Month campaign will inform the public, policymakers, and legislators about the way the nation’s social workers each day meet people where they are and help them live to their fullest potential.
Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are currently about 700,000 professional social workers in our nation, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2029, BLS said.
At Scotland Regional Hospice, social workers are integral in developing individualized plans of care for each patient. They help patients and families set goals, prepare advanced directives, and navigate the many psychosocial and spiritual needs of those facing life-limiting illnesses. They also provide grief support and connect with other support services outside of hospice to find out what resources are available to the families under their care.
During the Coronavirus pandemic social workers have also been on the frontlines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff and other essential employees. Hospice social workers often have to work in patients’ homes and other uncontrolled environments putting themselves in harm’s way to serve others.
“The patient and family-centered approach of hospice increases our ability to improve the quality of life of those nearing the end of life,” explained Kim Hammonds, executive director of Scotland Regional Hospice. “Because of COVID-19, social distancing and other safety measures have made developing and maintaining those close, personal connections more challenging.”
“Our incredible social workers have adapted to every obstacle caused by the pandemic in order to continue to provide safe, high-quality, compassionate care to those we serve. It’s what social workers do — they find a way to benefit others regardless of the circumstances. That’s what makes them essential.”
The staff at Scotland Regional Hospice would like to encourage everyone to take time to learn more about how social workers impact your lives and community and to show your appreciation to social workers throughout the month of March.