Are Psychiatric Social Worker job opportunities growing or declining?

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Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most Psychiatric Social Worker opportunities?

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Alan in Sugar Land, Texas

52 months ago

I'd like to know more about this career. I graduated with a BS in psychology and have been thinking about the social work field. If anything, I wouldn't mind being a medical social worker. I assume that a masters degree is required, but I'd like to get some work experience. How do we get into social work anyway?

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socialwkr in Missouri

52 months ago

Alan in Sugar Land, Texas said: I'd like to know more about this career. I graduated with a BS in psychology and have been thinking about the social work field. If anything, I wouldn't mind being a medical social worker. I assume that a masters degree is required, but I'd like to get some work experience. How do we get into social work anyway?

In Missouri, at larger hospitals, they hire both MSW and BSW positions. Some home health agencies to save money hire a BSW and a MSW only as PRN (as needed), to supervise the BSW. Some of these hospitals are also transitioning into RN case-management, and at one of the larger hospitals, the social worker supervisor is a nurse! I think this is tragic, because nursing is totally different than social work. I worked in a nursing home for one year, and social services was viewed as the "errand girl". I spent more time running errands, and doing little stuff that I did not get to do what I went to school to do. I would have loved to do psychosocial assessments with residents, provided them with psychosocial supports for loss, bereavement, adjustment, etc...........however, when management does not understand the role of social workers..........this is where problems arise.

You should look at employment opportunities for your local hospitals, nursing homes, home health and hospice agencies to get an idea of the market for medical social workers in your area. VA hospitals probably pay the best, and they do hire licensed social workers.

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Alan in Sugar Land, Texas

52 months ago

socialwkr in Missouri said: In Missouri, at larger hospitals, they hire both MSW and BSW positions. Some home health agencies to save money hire a BSW and a MSW only as PRN (as needed), to supervise the BSW. Some of these hospitals are also transitioning into RN case-management, and at one of the larger hospitals, the social worker supervisor is a nurse! I think this is tragic, because nursing is totally different than social work. I worked in a nursing home for one year, and social services was viewed as the "errand girl". I spent more time running errands, and doing little stuff that I did not get to do what I went to school to do. I would have loved to do psychosocial assessments with residents, provided them with psychosocial supports for loss, bereavement, adjustment, etc...........however, when management does not understand the role of social workers..........this is where problems arise.

You should look at employment opportunities for your local hospitals, nursing homes, home health and hospice agencies to get an idea of the market for medical social workers in your area. VA hospitals probably pay the best, and they do hire licensed social workers.

Thank you for responding. I've noticed job postings for a "caseworker" at hospitals, and yes, it was usually for someone who was an RN. This was confusing and frustrating for me. For entry-level social work positions, is a masters required? Or can I find something with my psychology degree? I will definitely check out the VA hospitals and other health facilities.

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socialwkr in Missouri

52 months ago

Alan in Sugar Land, Texas said: Thank you for responding. I've noticed job postings for a "caseworker" at hospitals, and yes, it was usually for someone who was an RN. This was confusing and frustrating for me. For entry-level social work positions, is a masters required? Or can I find something with my psychology degree? I will definitely check out the VA hospitals and other health facilities.

I know that VA requires social workers to have a degree in social work. A lot of their positions involve therapy and case-management and the positions I have seen are for MSW with a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). There may be some not for profit agencies, where they may hire you to do case-management, etc. You could probably get a position in a nursing home doing social services as well with the BS in psychology. In Missouri, if you have a Masters in Psychology, you can become a LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). I knew a lady who worked at the State Hospital (forensic) with her Masters in Psychology.

Most MSW programs would take you at least two years, and you would probably have a little more versatility with a MSW vs. Masters in Psychology............unless you want to become a Psychologist and get your PhD?

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Alan in Sugar Land, Texas

52 months ago

socialwkr in Missouri said: I know that VA requires social workers to have a degree in social work. A lot of their positions involve therapy and case-management and the positions I have seen are for MSW with a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). There may be some not for profit agencies, where they may hire you to do case-management, etc. You could probably get a position in a nursing home doing social services as well with the BS in psychology. In Missouri, if you have a Masters in Psychology, you can become a LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). I knew a lady who worked at the State Hospital (forensic) with her Masters in Psychology.

Most MSW programs would take you at least two years, and you would probably have a little more versatility with a MSW vs. Masters in Psychology............unless you want to become a Psychologist and get your PhD?

I was thinking of going the counseling route and looking into a Masters for Clinical or Counseling Psychology. The MSW is my alternative. I just wanted to get some feedback on a day in the life of a social worker. What I read often is hard work, but sometimes underpaid and unappreciated. How has your experience been so far, socialwkr?

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socialwkr in Missouri

52 months ago

Alan in Sugar Land, Texas said: I was thinking of going the counseling route and looking into a Masters for Clinical or Counseling Psychology. The MSW is my alternative. I just wanted to get some feedback on a day in the life of a social worker. What I read often is hard work, but sometimes underpaid and unappreciated. How has your experience been so far, socialwkr?

My experience has been pretty good thus far. I am a nursing home inspector, and our survey teams consist of nurses, social workers and sanitarians. I would also at some point like to try medical social work in a hospital setting, so just keeping my options open. The great thing I do love about social work is that it is such a broad field.............the role of a social worker would be different working for a mental health agency, working for child protective services, working in a hospital, working in a clinic, working as a nursing home inspector, working as a therapist, working in Administration. In my social work program there was a clinical track and an administration track.

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