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Are you an empathetic listener with a passion for helping others? Then a career as a clinical/medical social worker may be for you.
Social workers provide therapy to patients to help treat and prevent mental illnesses and disturbances. The job is flexible when it comes to setting, providing a variety of potential workplace environments to aspiring social workers. For instance, social work services are needed in schools, colleges or state agency settings. Additionally, those pursuing a medical track can also find employment opportunities in healthcare environments.
Clinical social workers leverage a broader, environmental approach in their treatment philosophy, believing a patient's surrounding community, work environment and family situation are integral in the development of a sound treatment plan. As such, their responsibilities can vary from case to case depending on the unique needs of patients and their immediate surroundings.
Typical responsibilities include:
- providing individual counseling sessions
- evaluating and diagnosing client conditions
- mapping treatment plans for psychiatric diagnosis
- pairing patients with assistance from outside agencies and organizations
- responding to emergency situations
how do you become a clinical/medical social worker?
Has this community-focused role of helping and healing piqued your interest? The next step then is education, and the path to becoming a clinical/medical social worker involves both academics and licensing, but we'll lay the whole process out for you here. To become a clinical/medical social worker, you'll need to:
- complete an accredited social work program
- receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work
- secure an applicable state license
what are the key skills of a clinical/medical social worker?
As a clinical/medical social worker, you'll need to be comfortable working with patients during periods of grief, trauma and high duress. To succeed in this role, you'll need a solid blend of both hard and soft skills to effectively counsel patients and guide them through treatment. Key skills include:
- case management
- communication and listening
- community partnerships
- evaluation and assessment
- patient diagnosis
- therapy and counseling
- treatment plan development
how much does a clinical/medical social worker make?
Based on the latest pay data, average hourly wages for clinical/medical social workers can be divided into three tiers, depending on an individual's location, market, responsibilities and level of expertise. The three tiers include:
In terms of yearly salary, those rates extrapolate to:
Clinical/medical social work can be a rewarding career with the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others, and you've got everything you need to take the next step here.
For a quick recap, in this article we've covered:
- what clinical/medical social workers do
- training, education and experience frequently associated with the role
- essential skills for success
- salary expectations for clinical/medical social workers
- ... and a whole lot more!
If you're ready to start sending out applications, start your search with Randstad and see all the clinical/medical social work opportunities we have waiting for you right now.