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Why are medical social work jobs being given to RNs? Watch

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    I just graduated with my BSW, and I'm somewhat concerned about a trend I've been hearing about. I keep reading that medical social work jobs are now often being given to RNs under the title of "case manager." In my opinion this should not be, if I cannot do the work that a nurse can then they should not be able to do the work that we do. Plus nurses already have a lot on their plate, and I don't see how they can best serve people if they take on even more responsibility. However, this seems to be the direction of things. I know people in my field who are going back to school for nursing. I never wanted to be an RN, but it looks like one day I might have to be.
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    Have never heard of that happening in England ? social workers and nurses are different roles so definetly feel they probably shouldnt be doing each others jobs although there is some cross over.
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    I would imagine this may be more along the lines of there are usually a number of patients in most hospitals who are medically ready for discharge, however, they cannot be discharged because the support structures are not in place. They may then have a nurse who is basically in charge of going round and trying to kick everyone's butt's so that the support structures can be put in place.


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    ie: discharge co-ordinators, they've been around for years.

    They liaise between social care teams/intermediate care and so on, arrange for care packages to be funded and started, arrange transport and so on and so forth. It's about co-ordination of care, something nurses are pretty well versed in, the majority of nurses who go into this role are ones with a lot of this sort of experience. Why shouldn't nurses be involved in coordinating care for patients on discharge from hospital? Hospital social workers are just as stretched as nurses are, in the end, delayed discharges take up a disproportionate amount of hospital beds, we can't just wait around for a social worker to be recruited to fill the gaps, these patients need to be discharged to an appropriate place of care so the acute bed can be used for what it needs to be, rather than delivering social care to someone who is medically fit for discharge.

    In an ideal world it would be great if there were enough of each profession to undertake certain roles, but as it stands at the moment, it's not going to happen and this is a role that can be undertaken just as efficiently by a nurse as it could be by a social worker.
 
 
 
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Updated: May 13, 2015
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