Clinical Social Work: A Profession

1747 Words 7 Pages
Since the 1800’s, social work has been an ever-growing profession. This profession, often overlooked by employers, is incredibly important in maintaining the welfare of society. In times of need, most people will (directly or indirectly) turn towards a social worker for guidance. When considering the process of getting medical treatment, one mentions the doctors, the nurses, and the hospital staff. The responsibilities of medical social workers, although rarely discussed, are an essential part of the healing process and can be of great help to both the patients and their families. A clinical social worker is, by definition, a specialty practice within the social work field which focuses on the diagnostic and treatment tactics for those with …show more content…
When examining the history of clinical social work, it is first important to understand the basis of social work itself. The very first social work class given was held in 1898 at Columbia University (NASW) and has since then impacted the world in a very prominent way. By learning how to deal with issues and rights of people, we can grow as a society and become higher functioning people with a better quality of life. Due to the actions of early social workers, we are granted many rights that are often taken advantage of or forgotten. Without early social workers in the 1900’s, there may have never been things such as Medicare and Medicaid, child abuse awareness, disability services, and even Social Security (NASW). Many influential people were a part of the social work revolution. Jane Addams, a philosopher, early social worker, and women’s rights activist was also one of the very first women to ever earn a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She also was one of the first to begin the trend of settlement houses for immigrants (NASW). It is because of these settlement houses that the community began to support the idea of taking care of those who were needy. For the first time it was beginning to be a goal to protect the wellbeing of others and help out the less fortunate in a way that would be beneficial to them, their family, and the entire …show more content…
This high burden placed on a clinical social worker’s shoulders has an impact on whether or not they will stay in the field. According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2005, social workers have a high burnout rate due to the extreme stress of their career requirements and situations. This could be due to a number of factors when it comes to general social workers, however when it comes to clinical social workers there is one outstanding factor that tends to resonate most in the conscious: death. Social workers in this field must be prepared to deal with the mortality of their patients. Primary patients that will be served include the elderly, those with terminal illnesses, and the family of both of those. Included in this may also be (depending on the location of your placement) emergency room patients or those admitted into the hospital. This may be a traumatic position for some, as there will be a lot of suffering both mentally and physically of the patients and sometimes it cannot be helped. The field that is clinical social work is arguably one of the less severe fields of social work in regards trauma. Those working with child services will constantly deal with injured, maimed, and possibly even dead children on a daily basis. Those working with veterans will hear of gruesome war stories. Clinical social workers have their own sense of trauma within the field. Due to

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