Healthcare social workers provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers. Provide patients with information and counseling, and make referrals for other services. May also provide case and care management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

  • 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.
  • Plan discharge from care facility to home or other care facility.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress according to measurable goals described in treatment and care plan.
  • 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.
Work Context
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 96% responded "Every day".
  • Electronic Mail — 96% responded "Every day".
  • Contact With Others — 68% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 72% responded "Extremely important".
  • Deal With External Customers — 64% responded "Extremely important".
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 63% responded "Every day".
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Work Activities
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
  • Investigate legal issues.
  • Refer individuals to educational or work programs.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs.
  • Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues.
  • Counsel family members of clients or patients.
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Knowledge

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.
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Skills

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.
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Abilities

Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS Hot Technology
  • MEDITECH software Hot Technology
  • Social Work Software ClientTouch
  • Social Solutions ETO
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Medical records software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • James Frazier Associates DataStart
  • Automated clinical information systems
Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word Hot Technology
  • Word processing software
Presentation software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Hot Technology
  • Information presentation software
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