For the duration of the practicum period, the client was
placed at the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital, located
on North Street, Kingston. Both hospitals work together as two different
hospitals that are joined by geographical location and shared services,
resources and administrative staff. The hospitals have a deep-rooted history in
the Jamaican landscape. The Kingston Public Hospital was established on the 14th
of December, 1776 and serves the communities in the south-east regions of
Jamaica. (Williams 2016) The institution was designed as an alms-house and
hospital, however, the alms-house was relocated to Rae Town in 1850. The
institution currently offers a variety of services including diagnostic
imaging; dietary services; cardiology; intensive care pain management;
anaesthesia; general surgery; ear and nose surgery, radiology; and physical
rehabilitative services. The hospital has a bed capacity of 505 bed and has a
total of seven medical wards, which are divided into 4 firms A’s – male wards
and B’s – Female wards, 3 orthopaedic wards and 2 surgical wards.
The Victoria Jubilee Hospital was
opened in 1891 and was incorporated into the Kingston Public Hospital.
(McDonald 2014) The institution is the largest referral maternity hospital in
the Caribbean, offering services such as antenatal, postnatal, gynaecological,
physiotherapy, neurosurgery, facio-maxillary, pharmacy and family planning.
Currently, the bed capacity is that of 248. Both hospitals share a single Chief
Medical Officer, Errol Green, however, have separate Senior Medical Officers
(SMO’s), Dr Natalie Whylie
and Dr Orville Morgan, who serve the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria
Jubilee hospital respectively.
Within both hospital is an office
dedicated to social cases, and that office is the Social Work department. The
workers there are referred to as Medical Social Workers, this is due to the
fact that the cases and knowledge that they will need and face are most times
of a medical nature. According to the job description given by the Ministry of
Health the medical social worker is to: to conduct comprehensive social
investigations in order to identify the socio-emotional and economic factors
related to illness, consult with health team and to provide them with
information on social factors impinging on treatment plan and refer and network
with relevant agencies.