Social Workers

Social Workers: Essential Members of Every VITAS Team

March 1, 2021
Two photos of social workers helping patients with the words Social Work is Essential Work across the bottom

March is Social Work Month, a time for everyone—especially those of us in healthcare—to celebrate the critical role social workers play in our communities and in our lives.

As a profession that spans industries in the public and private sectors, social workers perform a variety of functions aimed at helping individuals and communities overcome “personal and systemic barriers to optimal living,” according to the National Association of Social Workers, which sponsors Social Work Month each year.

This year’s theme for the month is “Social Workers Are Essential,” and at VITAS, we couldn’t agree more: Social workers are essential members of every VITAS interdisciplinary team, providing support for hospice patients and their families.

A Calming Presence

Hospice social workers make connections and help patients and families navigate the complexities of the end-of-life process. During COVID-19, they’re working even harder to ensure patients who live in restricted facilities remain connected with their loved ones.

At VITAS, social workers provide a calming presence as they help patients and their families file medical paperwork, make sensitive healthcare decisions, and gain access to appropriate community resources.

Careers at VITAS: Find Social Work Jobs Near You >

VITAS trains our social workers to provide psychosocial care as well as practical support. We’re committed to supporting their personal and professional growth through ample opportunities for continuing education, job advancement, and self-expression on a team of like-minded, compassionate experts.

As some of the most functionally flexible members of the hospice team, VITAS social workers enjoy flexible schedules and the authority to make the best decisions for their patients and families. They can always work confidently, knowing they have the support of other specialists, including nurses, physicians, aides, and chaplains.

Fresh Challenges, Surprising Opportunities

Every day in the life of a hospice social worker is unique, offering fresh challenges and surprising opportunities to provide care.

A social worker at VITAS might coordinate with a patient’s hospital and hospice team to ensure the appropriate resources are available when they return home. On another day, the same social worker might help a family caregiver develop strategies to overcome impending burnout. Later on, the social worker might educate the patient’s family on what to expect as symptoms progress and worsen.

Learn More: A Day in the Life of a Hospice Social Worker >

No matter what a social worker’s day holds in store, you can be sure they’re making a difference in someone’s life. Social workers are essential for the comfort and dignity of our patients, and for the well-being of our communities.

During Social Work Month, and throughout the entire year, VITAS thanks social workers for everything they do.