Does a social worker help those being discharged from ICU?

 Dr. Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD
Critical Care Medicine
The social worker and/or discharge planners (these roles often overlap)
are an integral part of the health care team. They are responsible for planning the patient's discharge back into the community. They begin discharge planning from the time the patient is admitted to the hospital (including to the ICU).

Usually a patient will leave ICU and go to a step down area or general nursing floor before discharge to the community. But there are times when patients are discharged to the community from the ICU.  Hospitals may have social workers assigned to certain hospital areas or service lines (types of patients). Therefore, there are times when the ICU social worker will start the discharge process and then pass information on to others who will continue the discharge process.

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