How has technology changed how social workers can approach providing health services

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Jennifer McClendon, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno for the School of Social Work’s online Master of Social Work, shares how technology has changed how social workers can approach providing health services.


With the work I do in and around rural communities, two things come to mind right away. First is tele-health. We can use video conferencing to provide clinical services to communities that have been geographically cut off from access to regular care due to lack of providers.

Second is webinars. I have to admit I’m not always the biggest fan, but when done well they’ve opened up a world of specialized training and support for social workers around the country.

We can easily stay up to date on practice innovations that are relevant to our communities and populations. But ultimately there’s a lot we don’t know yet.

Technology is changing quickly, as are the regulations around its use. As a field, our most important role is to be part of the policy decisions, to make sure that when we do use technology, it serves the needs of our clients and communities.