"Acknowledging the social and emotional impact of illness the medical social worker will provide counselling, information, emotional and practical support to patients and their families" (MMH SWD Mission Statement). Admission to hospital for cardio-thoracic surgery can be a stressful time for you the patient and your family.
Whether your illness is sudden or long-term coming into hospital can have many implications. You may not be able to continue to work, your home may require adaptations to suit your changing needs, you may require community supports to help you settle back home following discharge. If this is the case the medical social worker can make a referral to local community supports and put you in touch with agencies that can assist you.
Following surgery you may also be required to alter your lifestyle, smoking and alcohol consumption may need to be addressed in order to maintain your health. You may be unable to continue in your role as carer or breadwinner in your family, this can be a difficult transition for many people. Having cardio-thoracic surgery can also prompt you to look at the seriousness of your health problems. Many people feel anxious about their future and their ability to live independently. The medical social worker provides a professional counselling and support service to help you to work through some of these issues.
If you live outside of the Dublin area you can be put in contact with local support services that can help you through this sometimes stressful time in your life.
The medical social worker can assist you and your family to address the many implications of your illness and support you in making positive changes in your life.