In the mental health professional setting, clinical social workers represent the entire social work sector by applying professional knowledge to mentally ill patients. With the profession being based on specific methods and theoretical support for mental healthcare services, specific skills are required (Fisher, Newton & Sainsbury, 2021). Notably, clinical social workers in the mental health setting use specific illness prevention and treatment theories to deliver their daily duties. To qualify as a clinical social worker for a mental health facility, basic and advanced clinical knowledge has to be gained to be put in place.
Notably, learning a new skill set is important for professional duties. Wise to note before making advancements and edits to a skill set, gaining the skills to deliver to a professional assignment is important. Identical to all medical professions is a clinical social worker needs to undergo a certain level of education and practice for a certain period under supervision. To qualify as a clinical social worker, attaining a degree related to the career is the basic requirement (Fisher, Newton & Sainsbury, 2021). For clinical social workers, holding an accredited Master of Social Work degree is basic. Nationally, the social work degree has to be accredited by a national education board and council, Council on Social Work Education. Covering two years of theory and over 1000 hours of practice as an intern is needed to attain the degree. Practising under supervision is required to get a license of operation and practice as a clinical social worker. One should cover over 3,000 hours of clinical experience and practice under close supervision from an accredited clinical social worker (Lam, 2018). Upon completion, an individual can practice as a clinical social worker in any medical institution nationwide.
As a clinical social worker, your main area of operation is always a clinical and a hospital setup, compared to a direct social worker who majorly interacts with the community of a hospital setting. As a clinical social worker, therefore, your main role is to assist mentally ill patients to recover and evade notable levels of illness (Fisher, Newton & Sainsbury, 2021). To deliver to their duties and responsibilities, clinical social workers need to observe patients’ behaviour over time and assess their clinical needs regarding their behaviour. In cases where people with a mental health condition need a clinical evaluation and assistance, the clinical social workers are mandated to develop a treatment strategy for their patients under question. In addition to the clinical social worker observing patient behaviour, assessing needs and putting in place treatment strategies, it is also their role to diagnose any disorders among the mentally ill patients.
Patients have mental disorders and behavioural and psychological disorders suppressing their health. As clinical social workers, the prescription and implementation of an accurate and effective medication for the disorder are important in their job description. For all their mental patients, clinical social workers ensure that treatment plans are in place and are composed of medication and therapy sessions perfect for the patients. Closely consulting with doctors and other medical professionals such as psychiatrists and therapists, clinical social workers can help in the recovery processes and journies for their mentally ill patients (Ferrell, Twaddle, Melnick & Meier, 2018). When necessary, clinical social workers seek professional help and advice from senior medical and mental treatment officers, mostly in cases that require precise shot calling. Above and beyond, clinical social workers in mental facilities are responsible for the overall admission of social services to mentally ill patients present in the facility. Care that is semi-medical, and some non-medical can be granted by clinical social workers, depending on their workload. Lastly, it is the clinical social workers’ role and responsibility to instruct and update the client’s families and friends during their treatment.
Ferrell, B. R., Twaddle, M. L., Melnick, A., & Meier, D. E. (2018). National consensus project clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care guidelines. Journal of palliative medicine, 21(12), 1684-1689.
Fisher, M., Newton, C., & Sainsbury, E. (2021). Mental health social work observed. Routledge.
Lam, S. (2018). BECOMING A HOLISTIC SOCIAL WORKER: AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHY.