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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Social Workers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical social workers. About 9,900 people are currently employed as medical social workers in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to about 11,400 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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 about $19 per hour or $40,770 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $21 hourly or $45,650 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for medical social workers are better than in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. People working as medical social workers can fill a number of jobs, such as: discharge planner, health care social worker, and family support worker.

The Philadelphia area is home to 156 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree as a medical social worker. Medical social workers usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 starting with 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 Philadelphia 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.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Social Worker Training

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania, 1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303. University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,060 students and an admission rate of 17%. University of Pennsylvania has a master's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work which graduated nine students in 2008.

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.

LICENSES

Licensed Social Worker

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Social Work Examiners Board, 116 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 783-1389
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Social Work Examiners Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.