What does a Healthcare Social Worker do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A healthcare social worker refers clients to social services as necessary. They may advise care givers and provide patient education. Many work in medical settings like hospitals, mental health clinics, private practice, schools, child welfare, and human service agencies. They help people through many phases of life in handling difficult issues like depression or the transition plan when a client may leave one level of care to another.
How to Become a Healthcare Social Worker
A bachelor’s degree is required in psychology and social work. In the case of a clinical social worker, a master’s degree is needed. The undergraduate and graduate programs will probably want you to complete a practicum or internship prior to earning your degree in a supervised clinical setting. A license is required in the state of practice for a clinical social worker. Some on-the-job training may be available but most employer’s want extensive experience from the applicant.
Job Description of Healthcare Social Worker
A healthcare social worker provides support and services to groups, individuals, or families that are challenged to cope with terminal, acute, or chronic illness. They promote health and help clients access better healthcare. They resolve serious problems or crises in being an advocate for a clients care and wellbeing.
Often, patients or families need their healthcare social worker to get them started on community programs to aid in recovering from physical or mental illness and to be sure they understand other available services such as housing options, legal aid, financial assistance, education, and job opportunities.
A healthcare social worker may organize support groups or educator patients on available support groups. They may also coordinate rehabilitation and care and see the service is followed through. If a patient’s status changes, the healthcare social worker would modify their plan accordingly. They observe environmental issues that may impede a patient’s healing and keep records of progress while continuing to evaluate and monitor the case.