The Medical Social Worker, A Neglected Ally in The Management of Burn-Injured Patients

Ogundipe Kolawole Olubunmi1, Kadiri, Innih1, Etonyeaku Amarachukwu Chiduziem2, Aduloju Tolulope3

1 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery, Ekiti State University / Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-         Ekiti, Ekiti.

2 General Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University & Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti.

3 Department of Social Work, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Correspondence to: Dr. Ogundipe Kolawole Olubunmi. Email: koogundipe@hotmail.com. Tel: +2348060186037

Abstract

Background: Burn injuries comes with enormous challenges. It is a very devastating injury for anyone who sustains it. The consequences become worse when multiple members of a family are involved. Social supports are necessary, especially where health financing is mainly through out-of-pocket expenditure. The utilization of Medical Social Workers (MSW) in burn care in our region is limited, or their roles poorly or inadequately reported.  

Objective: This study appraises the role of the MSWs in the multidisciplinary management of burn patients. Methods: We reported the management of an impoverished family of five who sustained varying degrees of burn injuries, and the role played by the MSWs in their care. Results: Beyond being a routine discharge planner, the MSWs provided social support, psychotherapy and rallied community support which translated to an improved outcome for the patients.

Conclusion:  Involving the MSWs in burn care is of great benefits to the patients. Burn surgeons are therefore encouraged to utilize the added value of the MSWs on their teams.

 

Keywords: Burn, Injury; Medical Social Worker; Healthcare Financing.

Ann Afr Surg. ****; **(*):***

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/aas.v17i2.7

Conflicts of Interest: None

Funding: None

© 2020 Author. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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