Social Services

The Social Services department at Ridgeview Medical Center pledges to advocate for patients and families by linking them to essential services and resources in a compassionate and respectful manner. Our social workers serve as an integral part of the professional health care team.

Resources to Help You Make Health Care Decisions

  • Your mother’s condition requires she be put on a ventilator to survive. How do you make this decision for her?
  • Your spouse has just received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Where can you turn for clarity in choosing a treatment plan together?
  • You need to make the health care decisions for your father who just suffered a stroke and is no longer able to communicate. Who can help you identify your options?

We can help. When you become a Ridgeview patient, you are in the hands of professionals who see you as a whole person, not just someone with a medical condition. While our primary purpose is to treat you, we also respect your wishes to live in a manner consistent with your principles and values.

We have resources available to help you and your family make decisions about the care you receive at Ridgeview. We will put you in touch with them quickly, so we can better understand your unique situation and explain your care options. 

Our inpatient resources include:

■ Patient Care Conference—Ridgeview patients and their friends and families can schedule a patient care conference with a nurse, doctor or other health care provider to talk more specifically about a health care directive, treatment preferences, discharge planning, coping methods or any other concerns that arise in facing a serious illness and hospital stay. 

After you talk with your primary nurse or physician about this, Ridgeview Social Services will arrange a conference for you. Usually, this conference is conducted in the patient’s room and typically takes less than an hour to complete. 

Advance Care Planning—It is important for people to have accurate information in order to make informed decisions about treatments they would or would not want for end-of-life care. Then it is important to talk about one's wishes with family members who may need to make health care decisions, and to record your wishes in a document. Please join us for an information session that will explain why advance care planning is important and the steps involved. You will also have an opportunity to sign up for free assistance with this process.

If you are admitted to the hospital, you (or someone on your behalf) can also ask for a social worker to assist you with these services: