Free Essay about Social Work as a Health Profession

Published: 2022-06-24 05:41:42
Free Essay about Social Work as a Health Profession
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Health and Social Care Social work
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1074 words
9 min read

According to the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). (2014), "the social worker profession focuses on maximizing the well-being of individual and society". Social work is an interplay and a fundamental healthcare profession that aim to facilitate the well-being of people. Social work is among the healthcare professions that is underestimated although its plays a significant role to humanity. Social work profession focus on improving the social well-being by helping social groups (community, family, and individuals) to understand how to cope with negative social and psychosocial issues. Thus, the core responsibility of the social worker is to help the various social groups to understand how to deal with various social difficulties they face in their daily life. Apart from dealing with personal and problem, on a broader perspective, social work encompasses dealing with contingent issues in the society including poverty, unemployment, and domestic violence. Accordingly, these are the systemic issues in society; the social workers address the external issues that affect the well-being of the society.

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The scope of a practice of a social worker include client-centered therapy, community resource coordination, psychotherapist, case management, developmental social welfare, and program evaluation among other practices.

A qualified social worker gets accreditation from a recognized institution after undertaking a program that covers the academic requirement of a social worker. For this reason, people recognize social work in both national and international level. The prerequisite is to attain tertiary level training from recognized institutions. For example, a person who has enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Work is capable of meeting the minimum threshold to join the workforce. The curriculum provide the candidate with knowledge and skills that are relevant across the diverse social work practice including the field education, values, and work ethics.

Code of Ethics

All social workers abide by the social work code of ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The code of social work ethics is underpinned to the six core values: social justice, service, dignity, integrity, competence, and recognizing the importance of the human relationship. The primary ethical responsibility of a social worker to promote good relations with the clients (Dolgoff et al. 2012). Commitment to the client is paramount because a social worker will be required to report incidences as recorded without exaggerations.

Besides, social workers are required to maintain high standards of personal conduct when dealing with a client. Most importantly, the social worker should have cultural awareness and cultural diversity. Social workers should understand the diverse culture and human behavior in the society to understand different cultures to know how to deal with different clients.

Comparison of the code of ethics of social workers and nurses, both exhibit almost the same code of ethics, however, some values vary because to some extent, social workers offer holistic roles to people as compared to nurses who attend to patients. Therefore, the code of ethics for nurses tend to incline to the health care profession dealing with patients. Some of the code of ethics for nurses include:

  • Serving and respecting patients with respect and dignity.
  • Nurses show devotion to professional obligations.
  • Nurses should respect the autonomy of the patient
  • Nurses to show justice in service, uphold patient`s trust and privacy.

Roles and responsibilities of a social worker

A social worker performs their duties in many settings. A professional social worker can work as a family service agency as a family counselor to people suffering from the various ailment. Besides, the social worker attends to children`s aid agency by attending to natural catastrophes, for instance, floods, drought, and anger affecting people. Further, a social worker can perform general and psychiatric duties in hospitals as well as working in correctional institutions, welfare groups, and federal and provincial departments.

Depending on the practice of the social worker, scope of practice of a social worker entails assessing, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of the social difficulties by putting into practice the skills, knowledge, interventions, and strategies to get a remedy to a social problem facing an individual, dyads, community, and groups to alleviate the social challenge or psychosocial challenge (Schroepfer, 2011). Some of the examples of the scope of practice include helping people to obtain basic human needs, providing counseling, helping the community improve their social and health services, and participating in legislative and social policy-making process.

In the healthcare sector, a social work practitioner is regularly involved to aid people with complex psychosocial, institutional, and family issues to cope with the situation or relief them from the stressor. Further, the social workers help patients within the healthcare system to obtain important knowledge or information to enhance the capability of patients to make decisions concerning their well-being and health. In the health field, the social worker intervene to offer emotional counselling to a targeted group to support and mobilize them to know how to deal with their personal challenges and wellbeing (Cowles, 2012). In this context, the social worker undertake the assessment of the patient`s environment and relationship to recognize the effect of social challenge a person is facing. Further, the social workers advocates for human right and social justice-they discourage discrimination, abuse, and uphold the rights of people. According to Pockett, & Beddoe (2015), a social worker aims to provide holistic care. To achieve the multidimensional roles in the healthcare field, social workers work in hospitals, promote community health, participate in policy and program development, undertake management and governance role, and work in primary health network (Cowles, 2012).

In conclusion, within the healthcare need, a social worker plays a significant responsibility by offering an incredible contribution to sophisticated challenges patients, families, and communities face. Further, social workers promote the health outcome of patients who suffer from psychosocial issues to prevent cases of illness and disability that improving the healthcare services amongst the targeted group. Accordingly, it is notable that the healthcare profession has distinct roles within the healthcare sector.


Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). (2014). Queensland Branch Position Paper on the Role of Social Work in Health Care, Canberra: AASW.

Cowles, L. A. (2012). Social work in the health field: A care perspective. Routledge.

Dolgoff, R., Harrington, D., & Loewenberg, F. M. (2012). Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series: Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice. Cengage Learning.

Pockett, R. & Beddoe, E. (2015). Social work in health care: An international perspective, International Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/0020872814562479.

Schroepfer, T. (2011). Oncology social work in palliative care, Current Problems in Cancer, 35(6), 357-364.

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