By Katie Stacy
Timothy Barentine faced serious problems Dec. 3, 2010. He was
experiencing flu-like symptoms and multiple complications, including
multi-organ failure and neurological problems.
The Beaufort native needed
to fly via helicopter for treatment at Ashley River Tower. Worst of
all, he had no insurance. This is when Patricia Roberts stepped in and
offered her support to this struggling family. She helped Timothy get
insurance as well as apply for disability benefits.
social worker Patricia Roberts, center, talks with patient Timothy
Barentine and his parents Connie and James Barentine. At MUSC there are
20 clinical effectiveness social workers.
With Roberts' support and
the hard work of all the staff, he has shown improvement in his
function and speaks in partial sentences. He is also able to sit up in
a special wheelchair for a period of time.
James and Connie Barentine
appreciate all the support Roberts has given to their son during his
stay at MUSC. Connie said they were so fortunate to have Roberts care.
"She's wonderful. I would like to take her home with me."
Every March the National
Association of Social Workers celebrates more than 640,000 social
workers in the United States and the benefits they give to their
patients. The theme for this year is Social Workers Change Futures.
Roberts, a clinical social
worker, has changed many patients' futures. Originally from New York,
Roberts has been helping patients and their families for more than 37
She believes the best part
of the job is all the challenges it brings. "There's never a dull
moment, even days that begin seemingly simple sometimes become more
complicated." Many of the patients have complex social histories and it
is the job of a social worker to piece everything together. Each person
on staff brings different experiences and skills that they use as a
team to work together, she said.
Social workers must have a
wide range of skill sets and knowledge. This includes understanding
infant needs all the way to geriatrics needs. Duties can include
discharge planning, educating patients and their families about
resources available, reporting child abuse, and resolving alcohol and
For information on social
workers at the Children's Hospital, visit http://www.musckids.com/socialworkers.
For information on social worker month visit http://www.naswdc.org/.