dcsimg

Career Story: Psychiatric Social Worker In A Hospital

Psychiatric Social Worker In A Hospital

Job Title: Psychiatric Social Worker

Type of Company: I work at a large teaching hospital in Boston, Ma

Education: Masters in Social Work, Boston College

Previous Experience: Clinical laboratory technical

Job Tasks: I work on a consulting service in a large hospital on the Addiction Psychiatry Service. Our team is made up of social workers and psychiatrists. We are asked by doctors to see their patients who have or may have a problem with drugs or alcohol.

We meet the patients in their rooms and talk with them about their lives, particularly about any substances they may be using. If a person reports that drugs or alcohol are a problem in their life, we help them get into treatment to learn skills to be clean and sober.

Some patients do not think they have a problem so we may try to connect the reason they are in the hospital to their substance use. For instance - a person may have liver disease because of drinking, but they may not want to see the drinking as the cause.

Some patients may also have a mental health issue that contributes to their substance use - depression and anxiety disorders for instance. If so we try to see that they have mental health treaters in place when they leave the hospital.

Our team also works with hospital staff to help them understand substance abuse/addiction disorders so that they can work with these patients in a compassionate way.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best: Meeting many interesting diverse individuals and helping people receive the care/treatment they need to live better lives.

the worst part is the limited services in the community. There are not enough programs, especially residential treatment facilities or detox facilities to meet the need.

Job Tips:
1. If you are interested in becoming a social worker try to spend some time volunteering. working with people that may be very different for yourself and who may be struggling with severe issues (financial, legal, mental health, substance abuse). This will help you get a feeling for the diverse problems you would encounter. It also looks good on the application to grad school.

Additional Thoughts: Many of the issues social workers encounter are difficult or impossible to change. People have their own agenda, not ours, even if they are putting themselves in harms way over and over again. Being able to understand and tolerate a person's right to do what they want can be difficult when we see is as detrimental to their wellbeing.

However, the times that you make a difference in someone's life or they allow you into their very private intimate lives with a shared goal of change, can be tremendously rewarding.

To be successful as a social worker it is important to know yourself. Every button you have will be pushed and the more you understand your own issues the better you will be at helping others

Popular Schools offering Mental Health Counseling Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Prevention, M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics, M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

  • Programs: Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master, Doctorate

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Psychology, PhD in Psychology
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Psychology - BA, General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Bachelor

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

  • Programs: MA in Psychology, Career Management and Counseling Specialization , MA in Psychology, General Psychology
  • Degrees: Master

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology, Master of Science in Applied Psychology
  • Degrees: Master

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

  • Programs: B.S. in Human Services / Counseling, Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Certificate, Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Mental Health And Substance Abuse Social Workers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Mental Health And Substance Abuse Social Workers, including:

Back to Top