Healthcare social workers are specially trained to assist patients following certain medical diagnoses. They help people understand the details of the medical condition and assist in planning and implementing necessary changes in lifestyle, healthcare, diet and housing. Social workers may also recommend support groups and help patients deal with changes in mental or emotional health.
A healthcare social worker job description should focus primarily on the proper medical education, work experience and required licenses. Qualified candidates should also have excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with patients and their family members along with medical professionals.
Healthcare social workers must show compassion and empathy for patients in a variety of situations. Time management, organization and problem-solving skills are also important. Look through the healthcare social worker job description template below to see what other information you should include in your job listing.
Healthcare Social Worker Job Summary
Are you looking for a career that provides daily challenges and allows you to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of local residents? If so, we want you to join our team of passionate healthcare social workers and use your expertise to provide personalized support to patients of every age. You will have a chance to augment medical care by assisting patients in making positive lifestyle changes and providing resources to encourage emotional growth and stability. We believe that every patient is unique and worthy of compassion and the very best care, so we give our social workers the resources necessary to provide effective support. Join us to begin a meaningful career with outstanding financial benefits and true job satisfaction.
- Assess each patient’s unique condition, combining data from medical diagnoses, personal interviews and professional knowledge to establish accurate picture of overall mental and emotional health
- Develop comprehensive plans to help patients adjust to medical diagnoses, including recommending support groups and lifestyle changes, and helping patients transition from hospital care to personal healthcare management
- Provide necessary support for each patient according to health status, personal strengths and weaknesses, emotional state and additional factors
- Research local support groups and other resources to determine which ones are right for individual patients, taking into account eligibility requirements and treatment methodologies
- Evaluate services and resources provided to patients to determine effectiveness, and modify treatment plan and recommendations as necessary
- Follow up with patients throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery to determine current state of mental and emotional health, provide required support and create relevant recommendations for changes to lifestyle and diet
- Maintain current knowledge of local resources and relevant medical research to provide best possible recommendation to patients
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or sociology, plus minimum 1 year of clinical work experience
- Healthcare social work license
- Excellent communication skills, including ability to explain medical concepts to patients in understandable language
- Compassionate demeanor with patients of all ages and conditions
- Strong organizational and time-management skills
- Master’s degree
Healthcare Social Worker Job Responsibilities
Being a healthcare social worker requires a balance between professionalism and compassion. Similarly, writing a good healthcare social worker job description requires a balance between too much information and too little. Straddle that dividing line and find the right balance by rewriting your job responsibilities section using bullet points that convey the top 8-10 points of the job’s scope in concise fashion. Focus less on the daily breakdown and more on discussing the general mission and vision of the role.
Brevity isn’t the only focus when writing an effective healthcare social worker job description. If your writing is lackluster, it’s likely the best candidates are skimming and moving on to something that speaks more clearly to their professional passions. You should convey the general scope of the organization’s mission and vision, but do so in a way that evangelizes the candidates and encourages them to invest themselves in the role. You can do this with action-oriented language, which involves beginning each sentence with a powerful action verb.
For an example, try these healthcare social worker job responsibilities if they apply to your open position:
- Work with patients and families in group and individual counseling settings
- Assess patient condition and determine psychosocial and behavioral needs
- Balance a large caseload of up to 100 patients per week
- Provide the necessary support for patients to define goals and determine pathways as they deal with illness and injury
- Promote positive behavioral therapy and coping methods
- Direct patients to necessary resources through referrals and recommendations
Healthcare Social Worker Job Specifications
Further hone your healthcare social worker job description with a list of job qualifications and skills. These qualifications are the defining criteria that determine who makes the cut and who doesn’t. Including these can shorten your candidate list considerably, standing as a gatekeeper to discourage unqualified candidates from even reaching your inbox. Build this list through consultation with colleagues and others occupying social work roles within your organization. Staff insight is invaluable in determining what makes a healthcare social worker effective.
While the list shouldn’t be any longer than 5-6 bullet points, don’t skimp on the specifics. If discussing education or certifications, be clear in what disciplines you prefer. Cover years of experience, background and those intangible skills that still make all the difference in a successful candidate. Break these down to must-haves with one or two optional items that you would prefer but do not require. Overall, this list, when included in your healthcare social worker job description, should significantly optimize your recruiting process.
Here is an example of what makes a good list of healthcare social worker job specifications:
- Master’s degree minimum in social work, sociology or psychology; doctorate preferred
- State-verified Licensed Social Worker; licensure must be current
- At least 5 years of experience in a clinical setting
- Demonstrated compassion in sensitive situations, including working with terminal patients
- Ability to communicate with medical staff on intervention and treatment