Hospital Social Work?

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jb in Washington, District of Columbia

89 months ago

I've been living abroad for a number of years--had a unique low vision counseling job in an English hospital, which I enjoyed. Now that I'm back in the U.S., I was thinking of applying for hospital social work jobs. Can anyone in the field tell me a little bit about what it's like? I'm an MSW licensed in DC, btw. Thanks!

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Matt in Chicago, Illinois

88 months ago

I am currently in my second level internship in Chicago at an urban hospital.

What you would be doing in a hospital varies from hospital to hospital, and even moreso with department to department. In cardiology you would do a lot of discharge planning and working with hospice placements, and skilled nursing facility placements. You also would spend little time with the patients and do a lot of paperwork/notes. With oncology it will be more long term and a bit more clinical/therapeutic. You do some discharging and a lot of psychosocials. Unfortunately there is a high mortality rate among oncology patients. With the emergency department it will be short term, crisis interventions, and you will do everything from psychosocials to housing assistance, dv cases, DCFS cases etc.

Basically hospital social work pays well, but it is largely made up of chasing MD's, doing discharges, and paperwork...and doing discharges, a lot of them. It can be great if you are in the right department. I hated doing cardiology but loved both oncology and the ED.

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oregonamy1972 in Albany, Oregon

81 months ago

I think it depends on the hospital, every hospital has a slightly different model. In our hospital, RN's do the discharge planning. My colleagues and I do a lot of depression screenings, drug/alcohol assessments, abuse/neglect screenings, emotional support for new diagnosis, crisis management in the ICU. I think it depends on the hospital.

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