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The social worker in the treatment team : an examiniation of representative cases in the Vancouver General Hospital Out Patient Department Le Huquet (Bowkett), Mary Frew

Abstract

The social worker in the treatment team is a phrase that is heard often today. In this age of scientific specialization, no one person can possibly utilize all the available knowledge required for health and welfare. Medicine, like all the other applied sciences, has developed so rapidly that theories change from day to day. Through all this exciting and revolutionary change, the person who is sick is often forgotten. The patient is often referred to as a peptic ulcer or a tumour. At this present stage, there has been a rather interesting development. Medical scientists have suddenly realized that there is a definite relation between the mind and the body in sickness. There is, therefore, a need for a specialist who has skills in the treatment of social and emotional problems. It is in this area that the social worker lends her skills to the treatment team. Treatment no longer is complete with relief from pain and the physical discomfort; it must also be a relief from fear of financial insecurity, environmental problems, personality maladjustments and emotional frustration. This study is an attempt to show where the social worker can be of value in the medical setting. Social work in the Vancouver General Hospital is still infantile in its development and it is hoped this study will be of some help in defining the function of the social worker. The lack of real casework services made the selection of cases very difficult. The cases used were, for the most part, done by students. The ten cases which were used were considered good examples of social work in the hospital setting.

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