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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Social Workers in Durham, North Carolina

If you want to be a medical social worker, the Durham, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 3,330 people are currently employed as medical social workers in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 39% to 4,620 people employed. This is better than the national trend for medical social workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.4% over the next eight years. Medical social workers generally provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS.

Medical social workers earn approximately $20 per hour or $41,950 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $45,650 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as medical social workers in North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: health care social worker, oncology social worker, and perinatal social worker.

The Durham area is home to twenty-six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree as a medical social worker. The most common level of education for medical social workers is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn to be a medical social worker if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Social Worker

Medical Social Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical social workers provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. They also services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.

Medical social workers advocate for clients or patients to deal with crises. They also collaborate with other professionals to review patients' medical or physical condition and to gauge client needs. Equally important, medical social workers have to refer patients or family to community resources to help in recovery from mental or physical illness and to furnish access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education. They are often called upon to counsel clients and patients in individual and group sessions to help them overcome dependencies, recover from illness, and adjust to life. They are expected to organize support groups or counsel family members to help them in understanding and supporting the client or patient. Finally, medical social workers formulate discharge from care facility to home or other care facility.

Every day, medical social workers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical social workers to supervise and direct other staff providing services to clients or patients. They are often called upon to design or advise on social policy and help in community development. They also formulate and conduct programs to fight social problems, avoid substance abuse, or improve community health and counseling services. They are sometimes expected to investigate child abuse or neglect cases and take authorized protective action when needed. Somewhat less frequently, medical social workers are also expected to conduct social research to advance knowledge in the social work field.

And finally, they sometimes have to design or advise on social policy and help in community development.

Like many other jobs, medical social workers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Durham include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Mental Health Social Worker. Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Social Worker Training

Piedmont Community College - Roxboro, NC

Piedmont Community College, 1715 College Dr, Roxboro, NC 27573. Piedmont Community College is a small college located in Roxboro, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,590 students. Piedmont Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.

For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology: Social workers who hold the CSW-G have: NASW membership in good standing; An MSW degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Documented no less than two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of experience working with older adults under social work supervision; Completed twenty (20) contact hours of continuing education relevant to work with older adults; Provided approved documentation of social work supervision; Provided a reference from a social work colleague; .

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

Certified Social Worker in Health Care: Health care is a dynamic field, influenced by changes in.

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.