Healthcare social workers aid patients in understanding and coping with their diagnoses. Social workers help them make the required adjustments to their healthcare, housing, or lifestyle. They provide information on services and support groups that can help. Social workers also work with healthcare practitioners so they understand how the diagnosis affects patients’ mental health and emotional well-being. Some social workers in healthcare choose to specialize in medical, hospice and palliative care, or geriatric social work.
Social Work Education & Requirements
For many social work jobs, a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is required, however clinical social workers must earn a master’s degree, work two years in a supervised clinical setting, and be licensed. Most states have license or certification requirements for non-clinical social workers as well. People who choose to take social work jobs should have good communication and organizational skills. They should be good at problem-solving, time management, and exercising empathy.
Social Work Jobs Outlook
The demand to fill social work jobs is expected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — that is higher than the average for all occupations. This projected growth is driven by the overall increased demand for the healthcare and social services sector.
Social Worker Job Salary
Median annual salary for social workers is $46,890, according to the BLS, and the type of facility the social worker is working in can have an impact on the amount.