As a social work student, the experience you get in the field is just as important as your classroom learning. Field work gives you real-life, on-the-job training, and it allows you to integrate your training with values and ethics as you interact in a professional setting. As you prepare for field placement within the Master of Social Work program at Sacred Heart University, you might choose to complete your training at one of the following places.
Community Health Clinic
Community health clinics have a great need for social workers. If you receive field placement within one of these outpatient facilities, your work will include determining client eligibility and advocating for client services, developing treatment plans upon client discharge, providing referrals to community resources, and more.1 Work in this setting often involves assisting clients across all demographics.
Social workers in a hospital setting play a crucial role in helping patients navigate the confusing world of healthcare. A medical social worker might act as a patient advocate, educate patients as to their rights, refer patients to outside programs or facilities, or help them figure out how to pay for their medical care. Social workers can also provide counseling, especially when families are facing a difficult diagnosis. As a student in this setting you'll also become familiar with medical procedures and terminology, billing procedures, and even treatment and diagnosis methods.2
Social workers are increasingly needed in legislative offices to help educate public officials and shape public policy to create laws that help protect the nation's most vulnerable individuals. Field placement in a legislative setting is an important role, especially when it comes to providing a positive influence and promoting social justice in the area of constituent services.
Public Health Agency
With field placement in a public health agency, you can expect to focus on problems battling the community at large, including widespread health or social issues. While working at a public health agency you may be asked to tackle any number of important issues, including prevention of child or elder abuse, substance abuse prevention and intervention, maternal and child health, or services to people with disabilities.3
Studies project that by 2030, senior citizens aged 65 and older will outnumber the younger generation.4 Geriatric social workers will continue playing a much-needed role, helping senior citizens manage the challenges and struggles that accompany aging. With field placement in a senior center, you may be asked to help clients sift through available government programs, find healthcare providers, or uncover other beneficial social agencies or community programs. In addition, geriatric social workers may provide counseling on end-of-life care, or even help with the difficulty of transitioning between different living environments.
Field placement for the MSW program at SHU helps you develop your professional values as you hone your skills. Take your social work career to the next level with the MSW program. Call 877-791-7181 or request more information today.