Healthcare Social Workers

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About the Job

Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

It is also Called

  • Transition Specialist
  • Social Worker
  • Social Work Case Manager
  • Renal Social Worker
  • Referral Coordinator
  • Public Welfare Worker
  • Public Health Social Worker
  • Perinatal Social Worker
  • Pediatric Social Worker
  • Outreach Specialist
View All

What They Do

  • Conduct social research to advance knowledge in the social work field.
  • Develop or advise on social policy and assist in community development.
  • Oversee Medicaid- and Medicare-related paperwork and recordkeeping in hospitals.
  • Supervise and direct other workers providing services to clients or patients.
  • Plan and conduct programs to combat social problems, prevent substance abuse, or improve community health and counseling services.
  • Utilize consultation data and social work experience to plan and coordinate client or patient care and rehabilitation, following through to ensure service efficacy.
  • Organize support groups or counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting the client or patient.
  • Identify environmental impediments to client or patient progress through interviews and review of patient records.
  • Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in clients' status.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress according to measurable goals described in treatment and care plan.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $50,160 with most people making between $31,500 and $70,510

Outlook

1.74%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 8,290 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 9,730 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 144 openings due to growth and about 196 replacement openings for approximately 340 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education