What Social Work Jobs Are In A Hospital?

Hospital Social WorkerThough a large number of social workers work for government agencies, they are some types of social work jobs in a hospital. Often called medical social work, these jobs are available at both private and public hospitals. Some workers may also work in substance abuse centers, private clinics and plastic surgery offices. The requirements vary from job to job, but you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work before applying for positions in hospitals.

Discharge Planner

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the social work field will increase at a rapid rate and add more than 114,000 new jobs in the coming years. That includes those working in hospitals as discharge planners. Discharge planners help patients better understand what they need to do when they leave the medical facility. They might arrange for a traveling nurse to come in and check on an elderly patient, set up an appointment with a nutrition for a diabetic patient or help a patient find an adequate substance abuse treatment center.

Crisis Intervention Specialist

Social work jobs in a hospital include crisis intervention specialists. Crisis intervention specialists provide help and support to those dealing with an emotional break down or a psychological problem. A patient may come to the emergency room after police arrest the individual, or a patient may come in suffering from a mental disorder. The social worker helps calm down that person and diffuse the situation to keep everyone in the hospital safe. Though intervention specialists cannot dispense medication, they can provide therapy and other treatments to help patients feel more relaxed until the doctor arrives. They may also work in hostage situations or when other medical providers don’t feel safe.

Grief Counselor

Grief counseling is one of the hardest types of social work jobs in a hospital. You need to know the difference between empathy and sympathy and when to walk away. It’s easy to find yourself grieving along with the loved ones of a dying patient, but you need to understand that you’re there to provide support. Many social workers in this field work with family and friends when a loved one is near death or after a patient dies. They may also provide counseling to those diagnosed with a disease that will change his or her life and with those recovering from surgical procedures.

Child Abuse Specialist

Social workers working for government agencies often deal with child abuse cases on a daily basis, and hospitals need workers capable of identifying signs of abuse and working with both parents and their children. Federal law requires doctors and medical professionals to contact authorities after finding signs of abuse in children. Social workers can talk with those kids to determine if abuse occurred. They can then decide whether to send that case to the authorities or to close the case. They must be sympathetic, have the ability to speak to kids and know how to leave their work behind at the end of the day.

Related Resource: Care Manager

Social workers spend time with those dealing with depression and other diseases and those going through problems every day. While some work with clients for a government agency, others prefer working in the medical field. The types of social work jobs in a hospital may include crisis intervention specialists, child abuse specialists, grief counselors and discharge planners.