Medical Social Worker
Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?A medical social worker could...
Listen to this section
No one likes to go to the hospital, or get a bad diagnosis, but medical social workers can help patients manage their condition, emotionally and practically. For example, they assist in communication between patients and health care providers, so that patient questions get answered and patient concerns are heard. They advise and educate the patient and family members about the patient's condition; refer the patient to social services that can help with finances, housing, and legal aid; and arrange home care, meal delivery, and special equipment when the patient is discharged. Medical social workers are a vital part of a patient's health care team.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Medical Social Worker?
- 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.
- Social Perceptiveness: ? Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Coordination: ? Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation: ? Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Medical Social Worker might do:
- Collaborate with other professionals to evaluate patients' medical or physical condition and to assess client needs.
- Advocate for clients or patients to resolve crises.
- Refer patient, client, or family to community resources to assist in recovery from mental or physical illness and to provide access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education.
- Investigate child abuse or neglect cases and take authorized protective action when necessary.
- Counsel clients and patients in individual and group sessions to help them overcome dependencies, recover from illness, and adjust to life.
- Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress according to measurable goals described in treatment and care plan.
- Plan discharge from care facility to home or other care facility.
- Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in clients' status.
- Identify environmental impediments to client or patient progress through interviews and review of patient records.
- Organize support groups or counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting the client or patient.
- Utilize consultation data and social work experience to plan and coordinate client or patient care and rehabilitation, following through to ensure service efficacy.
- Plan and conduct programs to combat social problems, prevent substance abuse, or improve community health and counseling services.
- Supervise and direct other workers providing services to clients or patients.
- Oversee Medicaid- and Medicare-related paperwork and recordkeeping in hospitals.
- Develop or advise on social policy and assist in community development.
- Conduct social research to advance knowledge in the social work field.
Please create a free account to view this career and access our full library of over 160 STEM careers.
With a free account you will have access to our full library of over 160 STEM careers. Each career profile includes detailed information to help you learn about a career and the requirements to get there. You can explore:
- salary information by state
- recommended high school coursework
- fun projects and activities to test out a career
- videos and interviews with professionals in the field
- details on what a day on the job is like