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Social Worker/Discharge Planner

A patient and their loved ones often require more than medicine to heal their wounds and fulfill their needs. Social Workers help individuals cope with problems such as inadequate housing, unemployment, financial mismanagement, serious illness, disability, substance abuse, etc. They also work with families that have serious conflicts, including those involving child or spousal abuse. Mental health social workers provide services for persons with mental or emotional problems, services such as individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation, and training in skills of everyday living. Medical social workers help patients and their families cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses and handle problems that may stand in the way of recovery or rehabilitation. They also advise family caregivers, and counsel patients and help plan for their needs after discharge by arranging for home health services.

Salary Range:

$32,800 to $54,900

Education/Professional Requirements:

A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for liscensure, but a master's in social work (MSW), which includes four years of undergraduate work and followed by two years of graduate work, has become the standard for many positions. Accredited programs require 900 hours of supervised field experience. An applicant for certification to practice as a social worker must be at least 19 years of age and have a bachelor's or master's degree in social work from an approved program.


School Name Length Degree City State
Auburn University - Social Work Program 4 years bachelor's degree Auburn AL
Jacksonville State University 4 years bachelor's degree Jacksonville AL
University of North Alabama - Social Work Department 4 years bachelor's degree Florence AL
University of Alabama - School of Social Work 4 years bachelor's degree Tuscaloosa AL
University of Alabama - School of Social Work 6 years master's degree Tuscaloosa AL

Professional Organizations:

Name Phone Number
National Association of Social Workers 1-800-638-8799