Fairview Range Blog

Celebrating Compassion: The Vital Role of Fairview Range Social Workers

Feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what’s coming next in your healthcare recovery? There is no need to fret. Our fantastic group of social workers are here to help. They’re the friendly faces our patients turn to, offering a helping hand and a listening ear when they need it most.

March is National Social Worker Month, and we want to honor the invaluable contributions of the social workers who positively impact the lives of patients here at Fairview Range!

A Social Worker Role 

Heather Tarr, Social Worker

When someone is facing a health crisis, it may not just be about the physical aspect. It can also be about the emotional rollercoaster, the financial stress, and the uncertainty of what they may face. This is where our social workers step in as an unwavering support system. A social worker’s duties can vary depending on the needs of the patients. They may provide anything from meal planning, grief counseling, discharge planning, and support group referrals. 

One of our fabulous social workers within Care Transitions, Heather Tarr, encapsulates this sentiment: “We meet the patient where they’re at and support them with the resources that they are willing to accept at that time.” 

 Compassionate Guides

Social workers are compassionate guides, walking alongside patients and their families through every step of their healthcare journey. They’re here to listen and offer a comforting presence during some of life’s most challenging moments. Our social workers can answer any questions our patients and their loved ones may have. Such as, “Why did my treatment plan change?” or “When will I be discharged?” They ensure that everyone understands and is aware of any changes that may have been made. 

Tarr emphasizes, “As a social worker at Fairview Range, the work we do on a daily basis can have a great impact on patient and their family.” 

Skilled Problem Solvers

Our social workers are skilled problem solvers who navigate complex systems and connect patients with vital resources. Need help finding housing? Struggling with finances? Our social workers can help by referring patients to various resources, financial assistance, and legal aid. Easing the weight medical procedures and treatments may have on families.

“Social workers bring a different perspective to the team regarding a patient’s needs. As social workers, our primary focus is on the psychosocial needs of an individual, whereas typically, the care team’s focus is primarily on the patient’s acute medical needs,” Tarr highlights the unique perspective social workers bring to patient care.  

Whole-Person Approach

One of the most impactful aspects of a social worker’s role is their ability to provide holistic care. While the medical team focuses on treating the physical symptoms; the social workers address the underlying social, emotional, and financial factors that impact a patient’s well-being. This whole-person approach can make all the difference in a patient’s recovery journey. For instance, social workers may lead individual or group counseling for patients and families coping with their treatments. 

This incredibly important work is visible through the impact our social workers have on patients across our organization, including in our Emergency Department, inpatient, and outpatient Behavioral Health teams, Oncology, the inpatient medical floor, outpatient clinics, as well as our home care and hospice team.

Tarr asserts, “Patient-centered care is the essence of social work.”

Advocates for Change 

Education is critical, and our social workers are one of the best teachers. They educate their patients to navigate the complexities of healthcare to ensure the highest quality of care. A social worker understands the patient’s physical and emotional needs and works with the doctors and nurses to make sure the patient is treated with respect and receives appropriate care. 

“Advocating for the patient and their wishes is our primary role. We want the patient and their family to feel that their concerns are being heard and addressed,” Tarr emphasizes. 

Sarah, MSW
Sarah, MSW

Staff Highlight

In celebration of #SocialWorkerMonth, we proudly spotlight another one of our fantastic social workers, Sarah. She is a beacon of compassion and expertise in our home care and hospice team! With over 15 years of serving as a dedicated palliative, home care, and hospice social worker, Sarah epitomizes empathy and resilience. She offers unwavering guidance to families with grace and understanding during their most trying times. From navigating complex care decisions to providing emotional support, she is a beacon of strength in our community.

Ready to Make a Difference?

We’re on the lookout for more amazing people to join our social work squad! If you’re passionate about making a difference and helping those in need, we want to hear from you! 

Do you have the interpersonal skills to thrive as a healthcare social worker?

  • Active listening
  • Advocacy
  • Collaboration
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving

“Hospital social work is not anywhere I had thought I would be doing when I first obtained my degree and license 13 years ago,” reflects Tarr. “However, it’s a rewarding role that I am fortunate to have at Fairview Range. The teams I work with are extremely supportive and allow individuals to learn and grow. I have gained so much knowledge in the medical field over my eight years here, allowing me to advocate for myself and my family in a medical setting when necessary. I am grateful for that.”

Check out our careers page for more info, or contact our friendly Human Resources team. Together, we can keep spreading kindness, one helping hand at a time.


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