How do I Become a Medical Social Worker?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 January 2019
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A person who wants to become a medical social worker faces a lengthy education. While some people might find job opportunities after earning a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), most hospitals and other agencies look for employees to hold a MSW or master’s in social work. In addition to this degree requirement, in places like the US, social workers must be licensed and will need to complete 3000 hours or more of supervised training to become licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs). With the master’s degree and licensing, people will have greater opportunities to become a medical social worker in settings like hospitals, extended care settings and private and public health-oriented agencies.

Not all people make the decision to become a medical social worker in their undergraduate studies, which is perfectly fine since many MSW programs do not require a BSW, though they do require a bachelor’s degree. Most programs will want demonstration of experience in social work, and having worked at any form of social agency can be very attractive on college application resumes. It’s a good idea to get either paid or volunteer experience prior to applying to MSW programs. Of course, having a BSW is certainly not unattractive, and some MSW programs are even shortened if a person has prior training in social work.


In almost all MSW programs, students will take a certain amount of required courses and then be allowed to take some electives. When possible, choosing electives that focus on how to become a medical social worker can be of use. Many MSW programs also require students to work a certain amount of hours in designated agencies. When given a choice, the MSW candidate might choose agencies that have the most to do with hospital social work, though this choice isn’t always given.

Once the MSW is achieved, it’s easier to become a medical social worker. Since most people will then begin licensure hours, the goal is looking for work in the medical field. When possible, find supervised work at hospitals, medical facilities, or other medically related businesses that will help fulfill hours requirements. With full time work at a hospital, it’s possible to achieve licensure in a couple of years and to get on the job training for work. Most people find that much of their training comes from work on the license, and this training assures others of their experience in a specific area. Essentially, they become a medical social worker through their training choices.

After licensing, the next step is finding work. This is fairly easy to do in many different locations. Particularly if people wish to work directly for hospitals, they can look to local hospitals or centers like convalescent homes as places to get work. With appropriate experience, degrees and licensing, this work is often not hard to find in most suburban and urban areas. Job boards designed for the medical social worker may also be useful in securing employment.



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Post 3

When i was in school, my mom insisted that i should be studying MSW. I never knew what MSW was back then. Later after i entered college, completed my graduation, i tried many career courses but none was pulling through for me. Lastly my mom said go and join MSW. Then my mind reflected back to what my mom said before the years and i said yes this is it for me. Now i am a proud Medical Social work working in a central institution. Praise god.

Post 2

I have completed last year a Post-Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences (specialising in Social Work) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I now have been invited by the university and have been cross-credited 120 points towards my Master of Social Work which I start in March of this year, 2011. I will do 30 point papers in Methodology and Research and 90 points papers for a Dissertation to complete my masters degree. Most of my papers will be based on applied research.

I feel very proud of my achievements and the direction I have taken in my career. I would like to get into the education sector of social work at the university after completion of my Master of Social Work. D. Sharma

Post 1

I have completed a master of social work, and now i am working as medical social worker, my request is are there any special courses in medical social work through distance or regular learning?

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