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Document Type

Original Research

Abstract

Ventricular Assist Device Social Workers (VAD SWs) are mandated members of VAD care teams and contribute to the psychosocial aspect of patient care within the United States. However, the contributions and methods of the VAD SW are relatively undefined. This article reports the results of two national surveys regarding VAD SWs. One survey ascertains the VAD SW’s views of their work and their role in the VAD care team. The other survey assesses the VAD SWs involvement with care, through the perspective of the VAD team. Our results indicate that SWs are not only routinely involved in VAD patient selection but during the whole health care continuum. VAD SWs are well integrated within the VAD care team, and they are influential in the evaluation process. Agreement exists between VAD care teams and the national guidelines regarding the importance of psychosocial care provided by a VAD SW; however, no standardized protocol exists for pre-implant evaluations, screening for substance abuse, or assessing caregiver support.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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