The Position and Tasks of a Social Worker in Hospice Care in the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic

Eva Grey

Eva Grey is the head of the Institute of Social Work at St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Work in Bratislava. Her research is in the area of ethics, social work in health care, and social policy. She has participated in conferences in Vienna, Verona, Florence, Warsaw, Hamburg, Paris, Chicago, and she represented Slovakia at the 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. In 2015, she was awarded the title: Slovak Woman of the Year in the category: Education and Support of Young Talents.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to compare how real practice of social work in Slovak and Czech hospices corresponds with theoretical concepts described in literature. THEORETICAL BASE: The study originates from national and international literature and relevant legal norms in the two countries. METHODS: A qualitative method of data collection based on semi-structured interviews with social workers from hospices in the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic was used. Analysed results from real practice compared the countries with each other, and to the published theory. OUTCOMES: There are similarities, but also differences. Czech legislation allows for a wider range of qualifications to perform the tasks of social worker. Czech legislation recognizes the importance of the social worker in hospices. Slovak Concept of palliative care supports the position of social worker in hospices, but relevant health care laws do not recognize the social worker as a professional in health care institutions. Therefore, many Slovak hospices do not employ social workers. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: It is important to change Slovak legislation to increase employment of social workers in hospices, so that the clients get more holistic care. A concept of long-term care should combine health and social care for clients who need both.

hospice care, social needs, dying client, relatives of dying clients, social work, multidisciplinary team, social worker

p. 126-141

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