St. Luke's social work team adds to overall hospital care

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — March is National Social Worker Month, and at St Luke's Magic Valley their team of social workers is adding new resources for patients.

St Luke's has a team of 14 social workers who serve the hospital and the emergency room. The team works with everyone from patients with physical injuries, to newly diagnosed illnesses, to homeless people who come through the ER.

The supervisor told KMVT they help patients and their families understand the disease process, how they can improve their quality of life and how family can help in that process.

Most doctors and nursing staff will offer a social service consult, but if a patient thinks they need one, they can also request it.

"We're not just a medical type of person, we don't just deal with the physical part of us. We also have a spirit and we have mental health issues and those types of things," said Brian Raymond the supervisor of case management and clinical social work for St. Luke's Magic Valley. "To be able to address that through the hospital as opposed to just focusing on the medical ends of things, I think is vital. We're finding in this valley especially there's a huge need for treating the whole person as opposed to just a part of them."

Raymond said there are 682,000 social workers in the U.S. today, but as they continue to be recognized as a vital part of the health care industry, there are expected to be 110,000 more in the next seven years.

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