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Top Paying Social Work Jobs: #10 Medical Discharge Planner

#10 Medical Discharge Planner

By David Lasuertmer

Average Salary: $58,631
Job Outlook: The BLS does not publish specific data for discharge planners

Discharge planning for social workers is one of the most vital facets in the practice of healthcare and mental health case management. The exact areas and fields that constitute discharge planning still remain debatable. These are also dependent upon the setting, in most cases. In a broader setting, the process involves linking patients and their close family members with vital resources that are outside of the present healthcare setting as a means of offering follow-up healthcare services. Discharge planning, which is a vital part of case management in social work/services, can also be defined as a process where a patient receives assistance in developing a healthcare plan to make sure that he receives ongoing healthcare maintenance even after being discharged from the hospital. It is also called “continuity of care” and aims to offer services that can help a patient become more independent despite his illness.

Discharge planners fulfill roles and responsibilities that are extremely useful in improving the general welfare and well-being of patients.A good discharge planner is also someone who is skillful in performing more accurate assessments, conscious of different community resources, well-organized and has excellent communication skills. The field also requires other professionals that offer patient care services to be involved in implementing the process. This can include physical and occupational therapy, utilization review, speech therapy and nursing. The discharge plan developed for patients is a hospital-wide plan which involves not only the patient but his immediate family members, doctor, nurse, social worker, dietitian, pharmacist and others involved in his case. Discharge planning for social workers also works by initiating, coordinating and facilitating all efforts designed to improve the health of individuals.

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