Social workers who work in the medical field are a very important component of an effective healthcare team. It does not matter what kind of healthcare team or setting this person is employed in. Their role is to provide a source of comfort and support to patients, their families and other persons of interest that may need some sort of psychosocial support. This will enable the affected people to be able to deal with any issues that have stemmed from addiction, grief and illness. It is also their role to provide counseling to the caregivers of patients and help make plans for any patients that will need some form of continuing care after they are discharged from the hospital.
The median annual salary for this position that is in the medical field is approximately $54,000 and depending on who the employer is, size of the employer, credentials of the social worker and years of experience,; the median salary can vary quite a bit.
When making the decision to become a social worker, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Although having a masters and PhD degree are quickly becoming the norm in order to be considered for many social worker positions. Social workers learn how to work with their patients. As their patients situations change and the nature of their problems evolve, taking social work continuing education classes are very helpful in providing the social worker with different ways to adapt.
One way the social worker uses the information that is gained from continuing education courses is by assessing a patient’s situation and their lifestyle, and then using this information to determine how well equipped the patient is able to adjust to living outside of a medical facility. If the patient is not competent enough or needs extra help, they will arrange for outside resources to help out. Before any of their patients are discharged from a healthcare facility, they will have put together a very through and detailed discharge plan that is coordinated with the patient’s healthcare providers. In addition to working with the patient’s healthcare providers, they can help put together and implement a plan where all of the providers are able to continue providing care for their patients and continue to provide communication between the doctors and patient so that the patient is receiving the therapy they need from the relationship.
Since the healthcare industry undergoes change and growth almost every minute, one way the social worker can keep up with all of the changes in technology, equipment, procedures and protocols is by attending social work continuing education classes. Through these courses they can make sure that they are implementing and using the proper criteria for assessing a patient’s needs and assigning and making the proper follow up care properly. Staying on top of the patient’s case will prevent any delays in the patient receiving effective treatment.