When new patients are admitted to the Burn Center, both the people being treated and their loved ones have many questions and concerns. Initially, the social worker on the Burn Team is available to assist all involved in making the adjustment to this new environment. The social worker is available to help patients, their families, and loved ones through the initial crisis, assess their ongoing needs, provide counseling and suggest appropriate services, and address problems or concerns as they arise throughout the course of the hospitalization. The social worker also facilitates the patient's release from the hospital, assists the patient with reintegration into the community, and provides the patient with the tools and resources to reclaim life once again.
The social worker can assist families by:
- offering support, counseling, and psychotherapy (individual, couple, family, multiple family, and/or group therapy)
- arranging for transportation and/or lodging
- giving directions to local lodging, restaurants, shopping, and attractions
- providing for other basic needs, such as food and clothing (should certain eligibility criteria be met)
- getting a leave of absence from work
- applying to the Social Security Administration for the appropriate disability benefits (after determining whether a disability is anticipated with other members of the team)
- filing insurance claims
- applying for Medicaid, if eligible or uninsured
- pursuing other appropriate entitlements offered by the hospital, the patient's home county, and the state and/or federal government
- making referrals for wigs, corrective make-up, and other means of image enhancement
- educating patients and families prior to discharge about their options and arranging for home health services, home medical equipment, or placement in facilities such as a rest home or nursing home
- serving as a liaison with outside agencies, such as a county's Department of Social Services (DSS), law enforcement, courts, etc.
- referring patients and family members for ongoing community services offered by a county's DSS or health department, mental health clinic, substance abuse treatment cener, or other agency.
If you need to talk to the social worker or make an appointment, please call 919-966-7866 between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, or come by the social worker's office next to the Burn Center waiting room. The social worker can be paged at 919-216-1413. The Burn Center staff is happy to help you in any way possible; please ask if you need assistance.