29th May 2024

Meet the Team – Medical Social Work

Medical Social Workers provide emotional and practical support to patients and their families, assisting in managing any difficulties they may be experiencing due to their illness or circumstance. 

Every person’s illness and experience is different, so medical social workers will assess what is happening for a patient and work to develop a plan in line with their needs. Medical social workers work together with the multi-disciplinary team of health professionals providing care to advocate for a patients’ needs while in hospital and to facilitate safe discharge to the community.   

We met with our Social Work team in Mater Private Network Dublin to learn more about the important work they do for patients.

Clodagh McCabe – Medical Social Work Team Lead at Mater Private Network Dublin

Clodagh McCabe is the Medical Social Work Team Lead in Mater Private Network Dublin. Clodagh is passionate about helping others and supporting people to live the lives they want. This passion led her to pursue a career in social work. Clodagh believes it is a privilege to have the opportunity to engage with patients, hear their stories, help them on their journey through their stay in hospital, and to prepare for when they are discharged home.

Clodagh predominantly works with patients on our cardiology and oncology wards, however the social work team works with patients across all areas of our hospital. The team currently includes Orla Fitzhenry and Catherine Clavin, who are medical social workers and business support administrator, Laura Leggett.

Could you please walk us through a typical day in your role?

My work each day varies. I meet with patients, and sometimes their families, to see how the medical social work service can potentially support and assist them. The type of support we identify depends on each patient's needs and wishes. When we meet with patients, they might raise concerns, or they might have questions. We act as an advocate for them and their families to ensure their voices are heard and their wishes are respected. 

We work very closely with the different teams, most notably the physiotherapists and the nurses in our hospital. It is important that we collaborate with these teams to ensure that we have a broader picture of what the circumstances are for each person so we can provide the best possible support to them.

After we meet a patient and conduct our assessment, we share any necessary information with the wider team of professionals supporting the patient so we can address any issues that the patient might be experiencing.

Our goal is to help patients return home safely with the required supports in place because the emotional impact of illness can take a huge toll on patients and families. We’re here to help and support them in the best way we can.

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Social Work

The social work service provides emotional and practical support to our patients and their families.

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