The department of Medical Social Services which started in 1996 in a room apartment in GOPD is growing steadily personnel wise. It was then manned by a Nigerian Registered Nurse/Wife trained by the hospital management in diploma of social work and deployed to the department. In they year 1998, staff strength rose to two following an interdepartmental transfer of a personnel staff who was sponsored by the hospital management to the higher degree in social work.
Gradually, the staff strength grew to twelve and three were deployed to an annex of the hospital: Guinness Eye Centre Onitsha. Over the years, there has been improvement in efficiency/effectiveness of health social service delivery due to staff development academically and personally. Presently, two staff through self sponsor is holding professional masters of health social work.
Medical social service delivery is geared towards enhancing and restoring normal social functioning of its clients within the hospital while on admission and in the society following discharge. Hence medical social workers look into psychosocial problems surrounding “the needy hospitalised sick” located within the hospital environs or in their families/society which will hinder speedy recovery of patients or their rehabilitation.
ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.
- Social work interviewing, assessment, social diagnosis of all cases referred from consultants or Nursing Officers /in charge of the patients to identify psychosocial problems which may hinder recovery or rehabilitation.
- Embarking on intensive field work (social investigation/home visit) on cases when necessary.
- Crises intervention to accident victims to ensure prompt medical attention and safeguarding of life.
- Psychosocial care of patients in case of: abandonment, financial constraints, emotional stress, lack of care giver, need for counselling, patient’s rejection of doctors recommended treatment plan, patient’s requesting for Discharged Against Medical Advice(DAMA), loss of job, delinquency, drug abuse/non adherence to drug, stigmatization of RVD+ cases, need for rehabilitation or repatriation.
- Employing family therapy in casework intervention to improve family relationship and provide social support for patient’s benefit.
- Inter-agency referral of patients when necessary example:
- Making police report of abandoned baby/child before transfer to Motherless Babies Home in preparation for fostering and adoption.
- Referring relations of patients that require radiotherapy in another health agency for temporary accommodation while patient received radiotherapy.
- Referring patients to social welfare agency in their local governmentarea intervention when decision on child custody is vital.
- Pre-HIV test and Post-HIV test counselling
- Drug adherence
- Long stay patients
- Pre- amputation/major surgeries that require GA.
- Patients with terminal conditions.
- To create awareness for healthy living and prevention of social illness.
- Recommending certain poor patients to management for waiving of their bill or pauperization.
- Rehabilitation of patients in cases of :
- Loss of job
- Loss of Limb
- Mental ill health etc
- Repatriation of abandoned patients
- Provision of welfare material to needy patients and aftercare services to discharged patients.