A clinical social worker can be otherwise called as an ‘advocate for patients’. As a clinical social worker, you would concentrate on medical as well as public health problems. You would largely deal with the social aspects of health. You may also diagnose/treat mental and/or emotional health problems.
As a clinical social worker, you could find a job in various work settings like:
Mental health clinics
Child welfare agencies
Human service agencies
As a clinical social worker, you may have to perform the following tasks:
Explaining health care resources and/or policies to the patients
Assisting in finding out additional treatment options
Offering guidance on how to cope up with any psychosocial issue that could arise
Providing the following as and when needed:
Critical event debriefing
Teaching and training
Enhancing unit readiness as well as the emotional well-being of the patients
Conducting and supervising direct patient care
Planning and executing disease prevention and/or health promotion programs
Performing special staff functions in health support for patients
Conducting research, supervising and participating in graduate medical education and/or training of medical personnel
How to Become a Clinical Social Worker?
Most of the positions would require you to hold a master’s degree in social work. In addition, you would require two years of experienced in a clinical setting. Generally, the master’s degree would take two years to complete. All such programs in social work would require you to complete an internship/a supervised practicum.
You would not require a bachelor’s degree in social work for entering into the master’s program. However, I would recommend you to take courses in the following subjects:
Licensure and Certification:
In the United States, all the states would require you to be licensed. However, exemptions are being provided by few states if you are a clinical social worker working in a government agency. In order to get licensed, you would require a master’s degree plus at least two years/3000 hours of supervised experience. After having completed the experience, the concerned clinical social worker should pass an exam to get licensed.