The Importance Of Social Work

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Social workers are in a distinctive position as they are able to educate, counsel and empower patients and their families, and are often the only professionals that are involved with patients and their families from beginning to end (Nicholson and Matross, 1989). The most effective method to pain relieve is through a multidisciplinary approach, and if a patient is under-treated or experiencing unnecessary pain, that signifies a failure of the multidisciplinary team, including the social worker (Glajchen, Blum and Calder, 1995). On the multidisciplinary team, the social worker is the expert in facilitating communication between the patient, families and the rest of the health care team (Stein, 2004), and are expected to be the catalyst amongst the interdisciplinary team by promoting the interactions amongst the team (Day, 2012). As part of the pursuit for social justice value within the CASW Code of Ethics (2005), it is pivotal for the social worker to be proactive in identifying marginalized populations that may receive differential care (Mendenhall, 2003).
Caregivers often miss meetings to discuss pain management, due to the heavy burden and demands that are upon them, consequently the social worker can step in and be an advocate for the patient and their caregiver (Parker, Wittenberg, Washington and Sehrawat, 2009). This corresponds with the CASW Code of Ethics (2005), in regard to being an advocate for people that need it. To be an effective advocate, the social worker

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