I have some questions about the field and would really appreciate some advice.

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Comments (3)

azgirl in Surprise, Arizona

37 months ago

First of all, I want to thank each of you for the wonderful difference you all make in this world. I know people don't go into this field to get rich!

I'm 36-years-old and have spent the majority of my adult life fighting kidney failure. I just had my second kidney transplant about 3 1/2 years ago. I started back to school this past semester to work on getting my BSW. I really want to work with transplant patients, or patients who are terminally or chronically ill. I know in order to be a hospital social worker, you need your MSW. I've looked around for jobs in my areas (AZ) and have noticed that almost all the social worker positions in hospitals require an MSW or an LCSW, plus at least 1-5 years of experience. Between that and reading about how difficult it is to find a job in this field, especially after 40, I'm a little nervous that I'm choosing the wrong field. I feel like I was created to do this job. I've tried talking myself into other types of jobs, such as nursing (bleh), but in the end, I just don't think I'll ever be happy doing anything else. I have no real job experience though. Like I said, I've been sick with kidney failure since I was 20. I just wonder if it's unrealistic to think I can start a career at 40, which will be my age by the time I finish my master's degree. Any thoughts, ideas, advice or suggestions? Thanks ahead of time for the feedback. I truly appreciate it. Have a great day!

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SSilverstoneLCSW in Spring Valley, New York

36 months ago

As a NY and NJ LCSW I can see and understand your frustration. Unfortunately NY does not make it easy to earn the LCSW. Hospital and many outpatient clinics require at least the LCSW so that they can bill the insurance companies. An advantage to be9ing older in this profession is that people assume you have experience, as opposed to be young and having to prove yourself all the time. Its a great field, however the pay is terrible. Many people have the drive and dreams of a successful private practice, but that takes a lot of time and patience. Good luck!!

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LCSW in TX in Austin, Texas

36 months ago

Your life experiences as a recipient of services and passion for the helping professions will definitely add value to your credentials. It seems you have considered the long-haul commitment. So, if you're able to continue with your BSW program you may want to begin to focus on internship opportunities in your area. Most hospital internships go to MSSW candidates. However, there are back doors to everything. I know of a BSW candidate who got a hospital internship because her future in-law had been at this particular hospital for years. You may also want to explore renal foundations/associations. I'm more familiar with cancer care where there are helpline opportunities and patient navigator openings to which BSWs can apply. I also know a BSW who has a job with an oncology physicians' group doing patient care coordination. Volunteer experience can also be a great springboard. I know this is a disheartening job market right now so dreams/passion/desire can make all the difference in connecting with opportunities. Best Wishes!

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