at Duke University and Duke University Health System

Durham, North Carolina

Duke Regional Hospital has served Durham, Orange, Person, Granville and Alamance counties and the surrounding communities for nearly 40 years. With more than 1,900 employees, its focus is on providing outstanding medical care with compassionate, personalized service in a comfortable community hospital setting. Duke Regional Hospital has 369 inpatient beds and offers a comprehensive range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services, including orthopedics, weight-loss surgery, women's services, and heart and vascular services, and also offers care at the Duke Rehabilitation Institute and Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center. In fiscal year 2018, Duke Regional Hospital admitted 16,299 patients and had 165,953 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2017.


U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke Regional Hospital as #10 in North Carolina and #4 in the Raleigh-Durham area for 2018-19.


General Description of the Job Class


Provide skilled specialist palliative care to patients with life threatening conditions and their families as a part of the Duke Regional Palliative Care team. Utilize psychosocial assessments, psycho-education, and intervention to help a patient and family adjust and cope with extended hospitalization, diagnosis, disease trajectory, symptom burden, and bereavement.  Actively participates in the mission to promote primary palliative care delivery through education, quality improvement, wellness initiatives, and program development.


Duties and Responsibilities of this Level


  • Psychosocial assessment including patient and family history, presenting concerns, and assessment of strengths, needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Assesses patient/family/caregiver (PFC) physical, psychological, socioeconomic, spiritual and symptom management needs.
  • Assesses PFC advance care planning needs and actively participate in goals of care conversations.
  • Develops a social work treatment plan based on a biopsychosocial and spiritual assessment of PFC including variables such as environment, support systems, family dynamics, roles & relationships, finances, culture, perception of illness, cognitive and emotional integration of diagnosis, prognosis, history of loss, and expressed needs.
  • Identifies and intervenes with barriers and risk factors that may impede symptom management, response to treatment and patient/family care.
  • Referrals to appropriate community services and resources in collaboration with unit social workers and/or case managers.
  • Anticipatory guidance for coping with emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual dimensions of the disease process.
  • Collaboration with patient, family and team to identify options, goals and priorities for care - advanced care planning.
  • Integrates supportive counseling, family interventions, crises intervention and cognitive behavioral techniques based on diagnostic assessment.
  • Bereavement care planning and support.
  • Facilitates communication between patient and/or family and team including active participation in family meetings.
  • Conflict management
  • Consults and coordinates with other psychosocial/spiritual care providers (social workers, chaplains, therapists, psychologists) as appropriate for patient and family.
  • Documents findings, plan, and actions taken according to departmental guidelines and standards.
  • Functions as an integral team member by receiving and offering feedback, building respect and trust.
  • Participates and represents social work perspective in multidisciplinary team meetings (weekly IDT), team rounds, and Palliative Care Grand Rounds.
  • Designs and provides education on palliative care to other health care professionals.
  • Offers education and support on resiliency, compassion fatigue, and moral distress through debriefings and staff care.
  • Attends and participates in staff, committee, department, and other administrative meetings.
  • Participates in departmental and hospital continuous quality improvement efforts.
  • Keeps current with social work and health care developments and seeks to enhance job related knowledge through involvement with local, state, and national palliative care initiatives (SWHPN).
  • Participates in individual and group supervision. 


Required Qualifications at this Level



Work requires a minimum of a Masters in Social Work from CSWE accredited school of social work.


Two year of post internship social work experience in a health care setting or social service agency. Two years recent post master's experience in a clinical setting preferred. Three or more years of social work experience in a health care setting or social service agency preferred

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:

Current licensure as a licensed clinical social worker by the NC Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Advanced Palliative and Hospice Social Work Certification (APHSW-C), or willingness to pursue upon eligibility, preferred.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • Biopsychosocial, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of client systems
  • Impact of illness, disease and stress on individual and family, across disease trajectories
  • Psychosocial dimensions of pain and symptom management
  • Signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders
  • Religious, spiritual, and cultural values and expectations
  • Ethical and legal principals and guidelines for decision-making
  • End of life preparation, loss, and bereavement
  • State and community resources for care delivery and support
  • Multi-dimensional assessment
  • Treatment planning and intervention
  • Communication and counseling, (i.e. psychotherapy, CBT)
  • Interdisciplinary teamwork
  • How death, illnesses are understood at different developmental stages 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate and communicate well 
  • Self-directed; ability to work independently; ability to multi-task
  • Ability to prioritize work assignments and manage time efficiently.
  • Basic computer skills



Distinguishing Characteristics of this Level




The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.




Job Level: F2


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Durham, North Carolina

As a world-class academic and health care system, Duke Health strives to transform medicine and health locally and globally through innovative scientific research, rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries, educating future clinical and scientific leaders, advocating and practicing evidence-based medicine to improve community health, and leading efforts to eliminate health inequalities.

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