Medical Social Worker

Summary of profession

Medical social workers are there to help patients navigate the world of healthcare. These social workers can help individuals do everything from find medical care to help pay for medical care to recover from an illness or injury. This might include offering advice, acting as a patient advocate, or referring a patient to facilities or programs.

Working hours, patterns and environments

They usually work office hours or on a Rota. They may work shifts, including nights, or be on call. Travel is a routine part of the job, as medical social workers visit patients in hospitals and at their homes after they have been discharged.

Education and skills

A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW), Psychology or Sociology may be sufficient for some entry-level social work positions, but is not enough to become a licensed medical social worker. Hospitals and other agencies require a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from an accredited institution. Candidates who
can demonstrate that they have done volunteer work in a social work setting will have an advantage when it comes to getting hired.

Job and growth opportunities

With experience, you’ll usually find opportunities to progress into management, research or study for a PhD. You could also become a practice educator and train and mentor students.